New: Book Report: A Book of Common Prayer

If you're walking along the street and you see a Joan Didion book sitting on a garbage can, pick it up and take it home. I did, and I wasn't sorry.

You know all of those logic puzzles where you're on an island populated by some people who always tell the truth and some people who always lie? This book is like those puzzles, except it's a novel.

The main character has two husbands. One lies; one tells the truth. Further complicating the issue, the main character hears nothing, but understands everything. The book's narrator hears everything but understands nothing.

That doesn't sound like the plot of a novel, does it? And yet all of the plot feels like window dressing around those four people, and watching how ideas pass among them.

OK, there's a plot involving terrorism, life in a banana republic, loss, and grief.

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Posted 2005-09-13