San Diego, CA, United States
I’m not a sophisticated reader, not educated in the liberal arts, and not "well read", so one should take this review with a grain of salt.
The humor referred to in "what the critics say" was completely missed by me; which; I suppose, attests to my limitations as a reader. But I do agree that it was beautifully written; and beautifully read, however it verged on the tedious. But never quite so much that I gave in to the urge to stop reading. In general it felt like very long roller coaster ride with long hauls and anticlimactic drops.
There is no "plot" just the story about a very handsome young aristocrat with "raven hair", "big hands" and "a huge..." who's family, poetry and, mostly homosexual escapades are the subject of the many family biographers, most, or all, of whom have their own homosexual escapades; with the main character or one another.
But the homosexual undercurrent of this; (Gothic novel?) is rather trite and cavalier. I mean, no one ever gets upset by being hit on, and everyone seems rather indifferent about the many "queer" characters in the book. None of whom seem a bit disturbed by how the many male characters go after one another. Very "romantic" but a bit difficult to believe, given the nature of "the crime that dares not speak it's name", and the period in which they was being committed.
Aside from that this book was a bit of a slog with a plethora of characters, coming and going; in and out, Jumping from one generation to the next and then, abruptly, without warning, ending.
It was all a bit of a tease for me, just when you got interested in a character the storyline shifted to another character entirely, often in another family or another generation.
It left me feeling rather sad and disappointed.
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