Monday, August 23, 2010

The Golden Gate - Vikram Seth

Another re-read by Jo Walton over on A Suitable Boy is one of my favorite stories, I've read it at least a dozen times, and yet I resisted reading The Golden Gate simply because I thought it was a book of poetry. What I had failed to realize was that it is also a novel. In verse. Every single last bit of it.

It's a surprisingly good story, given how short it is, and that it is entirely in verse. I think having it be in verse let it be shorter than it would have been if it were in prose. There's more flavour to verse. There were a few bits of it that felt gratuitous to me...some things happened which I felt the story would have been better without. Then I re-read Jo's post and noticed this comment:

Then someone pointed out to me that the subject is love -- every possible kind of love. From romantic, to father/son, to friends-- all the way down to the love a guy had for his pet iguana!

Seth covered it all. All in sonnets.

Plus: the blurb was a sonnet. The author bio was a sonnet.

Which suddenly made everything much clearer. It let me understand why Seth had written the story he did...especially the parts that felt too rough. Possibly it is time for me to go re-read Hunchback of Notre Dame...I was so angry with Hugo when I finished that.

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