September 10, 2009

Blinding Light ***

*** Blinding Light, Paul Theroux, 2005

I'm a fan of Theroux, not as fond of his writing as I am of say, Richard Russo, Robertson Davies, or Rick Riordan, but a fan. Theroux is a good writer.

I first encountered his work by watching Mosquito Coast with Harrison Ford. Very depressing movie. Then I read the book. Great writing, not as depressing. Go figure. Several years later I read Hotel Honolulu. (Theroux has a home on the north shore.) It was good. I have some quotes from it coming up soon.

Blinding Light also showcases Theroux's great writing, but with two qualifiers. There were times when the story sang, but other times when I found myself thinking, "Come one, get on with it. You've expounded on this aspect of Steadman's character a dozen times, already." I don't know if my screenplay work has made me less patient, or if the book really did drag in spots. And the blindness theme seemed a bit overdone in spots as well.

The other issue is the sheer quantity of explicit, and I do mean very explicit, sex scenes. They were relevant to the plot, but as I've said before, I'm not into sex as a spectator sport, more of as a participant. I almost downgraded it to two stars because it seemed so excessive. To my tastes.

In short, a well written book with an interesting premise, great characters and a surprising cameo appearance of W. J. B. Clinton as "the president." And, if you like your sex on paper, this is the book for you.

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