Monday, November 2, 2009

Of sincerity and sleeplessness

If you find yourself unable to sleep in the wee hours of the morning, one reprieve is having a good book to distract you until you are able to lure yourself back into the dreamy depths once more.

With that in mind, I would like to recommend Louis Bayard's The Black Tower. I read his earlier book, The Pale Blue Eye, only to be disappointed. Heaven knows why, but I read the whole thing, hoping for last minute redemption, I suppose. Ha! So it was with trepidation that I took home The Black Tower from the library. I couldn't resist it. It sounded too tasty!

I was not disappointed this time. On starting into the first few chapters, I was hooked. Now, most of the way through the book, I am still unable to tear myself away.

It has finally occurred to me what the difference between The Black Tower and The Pale Blue Eye is. The difference is sincerity. The characters in this book, each and every one of them, are living and breathing within its pages -- and are now alive in my own mind.

The author has wrought his magic!

This time his canvas is painted using the legendary Parisian police detective Vidocq. Narrated by medical student Hector Carpentier, the tale weaves through the layers of deception, treachery, and redemption found surrounding the French Revolution, and the son of Marie-Antoinette and King Louis XVI.
Officially, the Dauphin died a brutal death in Paris's dreaded Temple -- a menacing black tower from which there could have been no escape -- but speculation has long persisted that the ten-year-old heir may have been smuggled out of his prison cell.
Well, it's a darn good story, so I'll let you find out the rest by reading it for yourself.

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