March 18, 2009

good things, small packages

  • About the author JC

While we usually focus your attention on our endless list of incredible Harper Perennial books, sometimes we must use our soap box to herald other endeavors. This is one of those times. Patrick Somerville, an old college friend of the Olive Reader, has written a slight but powerful first novel that’s caught the attention of none other than the New York Times. We know you’re busy reading blogs and uploading flickr photos and such, so you’ll be happy to know this slim volume comes in at just over 200 pages. Since we’re biased, we’ll leave you with the words of a couple of notable reviewers:

First, Dean Bakopoulosis for the NYT:
The Cradle has enough drama to fill 700 pages. But Somerville focuses solely on life’s catalysts — those unpredictable catastrophes, coincidences and revelations that suddenly bring our pasts into focus, destabilize our presents and make our futures appear random and chaotic.

As a writer, I’m still wondering how Somerville created this exquisitely complex story on such a small canvas. As a reader, I’m glad he did.”

And secondly, Janet Maslin’s earlier review in the same rag:
“And all of this sleight of hand is executed with the light, graceful touch that makes Mr. Somerville, also the author of a short-story collection (“Trouble”), someone to watch.”