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View Diary: Contemporary Fiction Views: 'Burial Rites' and continuing on (19 comments)

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  •  Just finished reading something (9+ / 0-)

    if not similar in purpose, at least similar in initial conception.  Karel Čapek's Hordubal, based on a real-life murder, trial and sentencing that he'd read about in the newspaper.  A few doses of rural miserablism, alcoholism, and puritanism. It's funny that you outlined your philosophy about whether or not to continue with reading, because this book threw my usual m.o. out of the window.

    The first three-quarters are... fine.  Interesting enough, almost stream-of-consciousness prose from the eventual victim, a decent enough, if stubborn and obtuse farmer who's just returned from the coal mines of America.  I enjoyed it well enough, but not enough to make a mark.  If it weren't Čapek, and if I weren't reading it to be a completist (he's one of my two favorite authors), I might have shelved it and expected never to re-read, or even remember much about what I'd read.

    Then the last quarter of the book, covering the trial and sentencing of the murderers, and bam... The purpose of the novel hits, and it hits hard.  The last two pages took my breath away, and now I appreciate why Čapek laid out, so carefully and in such a seemingly mundane way, the rest of the novel.  

    And of course I feel stupid for doubting him.

    Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

    by pico on Tue Nov 26, 2013 at 08:53:15 PM PST

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