Edmund White’s Jack Holmes and His Friend is in Paperback Today.

Posted on February 20, 2013
Filed Under New in Paperback, Strong Recommendation | Comments Off on Edmund White’s Jack Holmes and His Friend is in Paperback Today.

A year ago, I reviewed Edmund White’s newest novel, Jack Holmes and His Friend.  Re-reading it recently it occurred to me that although I strongly recommended this novel, I did not recommend it strongly enough.

Great novels beg to be read slowly.  Exquisite prose requires the reader’s full attention, particularly when it is enriched with exquisite detail.  The perfectly crafted paragraph demands to be approached respectfully, as one would approach a fine painting in a museum.  Complex compound sentences should be savored.  And this is how one should approach Edmund White’s newest novel, Jack Holmes and His Friend.

Consider this sentence:

Of course, when Will said, “You never know what you’re going to find down there,” Jack was soon obsessing about exactly what one would discover, the tangled pubic hair, a mousy brown, then the balls, the size of quail eggs, riding high and close to a sac matted with shorter, coarser hairs woven into a merkin so thick that no flesh could be seen through it, then a smallish, circumcised suburban penis, the kind he associated with the shower room at boarding school, and finally the hair running down his inner thighs and shading off into ordinary sun-bleached leg hair, again the very hair that reminded him of high school basketball players sitting on the sidelines, their silky shorts hiked up and their elbows resting on their knees.

Yes, that’s one sentence.

Click here to read my 2012 review.

Edmund White’s Jack Holmes and His Friend is out in paperback today.

Bloomsbury.

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