Friday, November 27, 2009

The Curse of a Book-You-Can't-Put-Down


Usually, the phrase "book you can't put down" is high praise, but it can pose a problem when that book - CP Snow's Strangers and Brothers - is a 3,000-page collection of 11 novels, meant to be read as a single work. The omnibus edition, in three volumes, is thoroughly engrossing, but takes up far too much of my time. I'm currently on novel #5, The Masters, which is widely regarded as the best of the series. It is, indeed, excellent, but I'm not sure it's better than the first, The Time of Hope, or the fourth, The Light and the Dark. The later is a compelling examination of the curse of chronic depression before the availability of effective anti-depressant medication.

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