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July 27, 2005

Awesome book of the moment: Star of the Sea

Filed under: — brendan @ 20:05 IST

Tonight Patrick fell asleep to me reading him part of Star of the Sea, an amazing book by Joseph O’Connor. The writing is really incredible. It’s not like Stephen King, an author I’ve read over and over again without hesitation for more than 20 years. When I recently read Black House (2001), the sequel to The Talisman (1984) co-written with Peter Straub, I again enjoyed the incredibly easy flow of character and plot. With Stephen King you just go on this amazing ride, losing yourself in the words— and worlds — of his novels.

With Star of the Sea, I found myself remembering reading things like Bleak House, Wuthering Heights, and Middlemarch. Books I know I enjoyed, but I was forced to read them at a slow pace. Slow. Each and every word was carefully chosen, making each sentence burst with descriptions stronger and deeper than anything cranked out by the current day’s most popular authors. (My hero Mr King has found a wonderful middleground to make his stories rich with content but still easy to digest.)

Joseph O’Connor has been able to type up a story that would be great to read by a warm fire on a cold evening. This kind of recreation is similar to enjoying a 12-ounce rib-eye steak with a specially-selected red Pomerol wine. Even if it seems to take an awfully long time, you love absolutely every minute of it.

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