got 102 minutes?: black comi-tragedy

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Definitely a must-read! I borrowed this and 2 other 9/11 fictional works at the Central National Library last Saturday, and immediately I knew I have to buy my own copy someday. At first I thought (conventionally) that it would be indeed in very bad taste to do a black comedy on 9/11, but Kalfus’ take on a couple’s disintegrating marriage, both of whom survive the 9/11 attacks, reeks positively Kafaesque. I’m not quite sure what that means – my Kafka has been returned to my university Literature-swilling days – but Kalfus treks a different and refreshing path from all other 9/11 novels that focus on renewed and rededicated relationships in the light of the tragedy. In this he may be sounding similar themes with Don Delilo’s The Falling Man, which I’ve not gotten round to reading yet. I’m reading a commentary/allegory on individual-state relations post-9/11.

One huge minus for me though – the ending. I don’t want to spoil everything, but the way Kalfus chooses to end the novel is for me hugely disappointing given the meticulousness he has employed to build everything up to that point. Like one reviewer on Amazon.com said, it “is weak, baffling, and didn’t seem to hang with the rest of the tone and content that preceded it”.

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