est. June 2002, Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
Last week's discussion split on Stone Arabia, as there had been on Night Circus and certain other novels that were thought to have a choppy narrative, confusing voices, time shifts. We missed many of the music references (wrong demographic), but I felt this was a modern novel, not a post-modern one at all. In part 5 of the roundtable discussion ( which is alternately interesting and pretentious), if you scroll down to the photo of the woman in the pink glasses, who is Dana Spiotta, she explains a lot of what her concerns & intentions were in this novel. A couple of ideas that struck me were: Stone Arabia is a real place; Denise reaches out to a stranger to get out of her own "normal" care-giving rut and to respond to the breaking news personally; Jay's gifts were ironic; Nik is still alive, but he left town after writing his own obituary. After all, dead rock stars are the ultimate cliché in the music business. And most of all, his voice must be silent before she can hear her own. Your mileage may vary.
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