Saturday, July 30, 2011

The Feast of Love

Charles Baxter has a vault full of voices. Just imagine a wine cellar where you can descend a staircase and have a variety of vintage wines to choose from. This is literature at its most luxurious. In "The Feast of Love," Baxter writes his characters so well, you can almost inhale them. The book begins with Charlie, suffering from insomnia and writer's block, who goes for a walk and sees his neighbor Bradley walking his dog, who is also named Bradley. Bradley gives Charlie the title "The Feast of Love" and in subsequent chapters Charlie begins interviewing people in Bradley's life.

The book starts out as just a bud, and then blooms into a whole new undiscovered genus of flower. An ex-wife, two young lovers who work in Bradley's coffee shop, and his old Jewish neighbors make up this gorgeous mosaic. I feel like I am forgetting a couple characters, but it's just because this novel is so rich, I feel like everyone in the whole world has been revealed to me, when really, it's just a handful of characters. There is another character known as The Bat, but I don't want to give too much away.

This is definitely one of my favorite books.

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