Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Brothers Review

Comparing Brothers to The Bonfire of the Vanities

NPR book critic Maureen Corrigan reviewed Yu Hua's just-translated novel Brothers and compared it to Tom Wolfe's The Bonfire of the Vanities:
Critics are already lauding Brothers by comparing it to Bonfire, but one is authentic Dickensian down and the other is serviceable fiberfill — and, in this instance, it's not the Chinese product that's the knockoff. Wolfe admirably aimed to be like Dickens, to write a huge social novel about New York City in the go-go 1980s and to make his points — as Dickens did — through comic hyperbole, repetition and cataloguing. All that was missing was the heart. (Did anyone really care about Wolfe's protagonist, Sherman McCoy?)
I haven't read Wolfe's novel, I plan to, but I know I'll read Hua's novel first.

--Czobit

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