THE RAPTURE by Liz Jensen - A (brief) review
You know how sometimes you are in the mood for something, but cannot place a name to it? Such was my craving for Liz Jensen's, The Rapture. Over the past few weeks, I had started and stopped many excellent novels that simply did not compel me to continue reading, despite their qualities. I sought something... but what precisely?
And then, fortuitously, I happened upon a review of The Rapture that struck an inchoate but resonant chord in me. Whereas I typically deliberate over my book purchases, this time I purchased and read the book immediately. And am very glad I did.
"That summer, the summer all the rules began to change, June seemed to last for a thousand years."and
"The latest projections predict the loss of the Arctic ice cap and a global temperature rise of up to six degrees within Bethany's lifetime, unless drastic measures are taken now. I should be grateful to be childless. Just as the Cold War figures heavily in the fantasies of elderly mental patients, climate-apocalypse paranoia is common among the young. Zeitgeist stuff: the banality of abnormality."I knew from the first sentence (first quote above) that I would enjoy the novel, so I tried valiantly but failed miserably to pace my reading to enjoy its many pleasures: its words, its sentences, its characters, its ideas, and its beauty and horror from sentence to sentence, page to page. The first 10 or 15 pages are showy-exciting for Jensen's auctorial style; the entire novel is exciting for her story and characters. WOW! Three sittings and 300 pages later, and I have discovered another author whose books I can order almost willy-nilly. And already have; a previously published novel by Liz arrived yesterday.
THE RAPTURE, which overflows with excellence, is for readers who enjoy novels with compelling and intelligent characters, who speak to each other intelligently, and whose decisions -- good and bad, right or wrong -- are made for organic and true reasons; who enjoy their reading to elicit a frisson of excitement, terror, erudition; and who seek page-turning readability. And more, much more.
Can you tell I liked The Rapture? I did, very much.
-- David M Gordon / The Deipnosophist