Wednesday, February 28, 2007

This and That...and Helprin

A lot to talk about and not sure where to begin. First off, I'm now in full job-search mode. Not sure where I'll end up or what I'll be doing, but I'm hoping to get some more writing done and do some freelance writing, etc.

As for books, I just finished up Mark Helprin's novel "Freddy and Fredericka." I've always loved his work, particularly "Winter's Tale," which is one of my favorites. But this newer book is also a great read that will make you think. Helprin really shifts gears from his normal style of writing and delivers an amazing satire of both British and American culture, including issues related to politics, entertainment, the class system, and much more, including perhaps, the meaning of life. I hate giving away plots, but the main characters in the book are the Prince and Princess of Wales, Freddy and Fredericka, a rather bumbling pair who are, at once, both likeable and unlikeable. Not sure how, but Helprin pulls it off. At times he gets a bit silly, but in this way the book reads like modern-day Wodehouse.

Anyway, Freddy is the heir to the British throne, but due to a series of mixups and his odd behavior, he and his wife, Fredericka, are covertly exiled to America. And the plot thickens....

If you can find this book, you really should read it. There is an interesting passage early on where Freddy expounds on matters of faith, life and culture that alone is worth the price of the book. I look forward to more from Helprin.