Can anyone tell me if the violence lets up in All Souls’ Rising? I’m halfway through and have reached that point I do in blood-soaked movies where I’ve just had enough. Like three quarters of the way through Kill Bill.
The earthquake in Haiti reminded me how ignorant I am about the history of that country, and I remembered MW and Betsy reading this at the beach and loving it. I have been really enjoying it all along, thinking what a great class you could make out of Go Down Moses, All Souls’ Rising, The Known World, A Mercy … all American novels that examine the complexities of race from the perspective of how skin tone and that construct “blood” came to mean what they do to us. All this was compelling enough to keep me turning pages while I winced through the brutal rapes, blood drinking, decapitations, flayings and babies on spikes. But last night, after an double eyeball gouging and a skinning and gutting alive of a father by his son, I began to think the violence in this particular novel might be just a bit gratuitous.
Anyone know if the rest of the novel redeems itself? I may switch back to the Clinton Tapes or start the new John Irving and leave this one half-read.