Sometimes you read a book that won the Nobel Prize and scratch your head but this won in 1985 and there is no question why. Lurie not only tells the story in a very entertaining way but develops the characters in so that the reader actually knows them. In fact, anyone wishing to be a writer should pick this up and study it to see how Lurie develops everything in what appears to be a simple way.
The story isn’t earth shattering, it’s the occurrences over a relatively short six month or so. The plot and sub plots don’t drag the reader ahead from one to another, they occur in such a way that the reader waves at them as they pass and looks forward to ensuing steps. I find that mega plots and shifts may be exciting but they also signal rest periods, Lurie has the reader looking forward to what is in store.
As for the characters, none of them are super heroes. In fact they are people we all know and put up with. But saying that I must add that Lurie makes them more understandable, they come alive and don’t remain two dimensional as normally depicted or even seen by us in real life. They also grow, which we see, though not to a definite conclusion. This is rare in many novels but works in Foreign Affairs: A Novel. The reader can draw their own conclusions, which I find refreshing.
Upon conclusion a reader will feel they have experienced a high level in literature without suffering the task of interpreting an author’s inner self, self-aggrandizing rhetoric, or having to look-up words that have not been used for two hundred years. This is the kind of work that you want to share with your friends.
- Paperback: 304 pages
- Publisher: VINTAGE ARROW - MASS MARKET; 1 edition (1 October 1994)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0749397934
- ISBN-13: 978-0749397937
- Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 1.9 x 19.8 cm
- Boxed-product Weight: 200 g
- Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 529,851 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)