Monday, June 23, 2008

Review of In the Company of the Courtesan

I am behind on my book reviews! So many books, so little time to review them.

Anyway, I borrowed this book from a friend who thought I'd like it after she read my blog on the Mata Hari book. And I did like it...mostly.

What's so aggravating to me, especially since my parents paid a lot of money for me to major in English at a university and I should be able to articulate myself when it comes to literature, is that I can't really put my finger on what didn't work for me in this book.

It may be that I had to put it down so that I could finish my book club book in time for our meeting, so that my reading process was interrupted. But...I wasn't really all that sad to put it down. I was just plodding through it.

I don't know why, though! The writing style was lovely, and the premise is interesting: it's written from the perspective of a dwarf companion of a courtesan in Renaissance-era Italy. It's peopled with famous folks like Titian, who actually paints the courtesan in question at one point during the novel. So why didn't I love it? I love freaks and outcasts. But this one, while I would recommend it to folks, didn't grab me the way that my favorite books do, in that "I need to read you in every spare moment I have" kind of way.

Perhaps it was just my frame of mind. I can't figure it out. I'm going to try reading one of Sarah Dunant's other novels, The Birth of Venus, to see if I appreciate that one any more!

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