Tuesday, December 23, 2003


I'm not sure why Karen Novak's Innocence wasn't grouped with the new Detective/Mystery novels at the public library. I'm glad it wasn't, because I never would have picked it up it it had been shelved over there, and that would have been a shame. I liked it so much that about half way through it I forced myself to stop reading and tidy up the living room so the book would last longer. And then about 50 pages later, I got up and did another set of meaningless tasks. I really wanted to get to the denouement, but I was enjoying the prose enough that I was willing to wait awhile on it.

Partly, I just liked the structure of the book. I thought the counterclockwise chapters were well used, and after I was done, I went back and read them in the clockwise direction. I also liked that the entire book wasn't in the first person. If there is never a single book written again in the first person, that would still be one too many for me.

About twenty pages into it, I came to the realization that I have absolutely normalized the concept of mental illness in my life. I think I was supposed to be thinking about ghosts and otherworldly apparitions whenever the main character started seeing imaginary people, but I actually heard myself thinking, "Well, that's perfectly normal behavior for a schizophrenic under stress, why wouldn't she see these girls?" Too much quality time spent with the DSM-IV, I guess.

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