Archive - September 5, 2023

“A GENTELMAN IN MOSCOW is Waiting to Meet You” | Chuck Lustig (Colombia)

“A GENTELMAN IN MOSCOW is Waiting to Meet You” | Chuck Lustig (Colombia)

  Many years ago I learned from John Irving that if you want to convert readers into avid fans who will slog through hundreds of pages with you, arrange to have something horrible happen to the principal protagonist early on — something that’s no fault of his own. Despite character flaws, that inciting incident gives us, the reader, a stake in the story. It makes us care because our hero is obviously innocent. But why? I think it’s because we detect grace, or at least the potential for grace, even if it comes only thanks to a writer’s cruelest plot-turn. John Irving had a penchant for having characters lose body parts through no fault of their own. Charles Dickens, long before him, preferred treating, well-meaning, smart children cruelly. And then there was Barbara Kingsolver’s recent reworking of David Copperfield, entitled, Demon Copperhead, demonstrating that today’s opioid-addicted times are no less cruel than those . . .

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