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Tuesday, April 24, 2007

The Palace Thief...

I am reading "The Palace Thief" by Ethan Canin, and after reading McEwan this is certainly a change in writing styles. Canin's short stories are as lyrical as they are intricately composed; a very hard balance to strike, even for an experienced writer. The volume covers three stories of which I am presently reading the first one, entitled "The Accountant." It is a simple story of a friendship in which both men find themselves comparing each other's success. Although they are not as close as they used to be, there seems to always been a string of consciousness tying them together. The climax builds as the two men agree to attend a baseball "fantasy camp." For those not familiar with this it is a week-long camp in which middle aged men join old baseball players (perhaps the stars of their youth) and play baseball, complete with real uniforms, etc. Almost every single baseball club has one of these. They are not cheap--presently I think they run around $6,000+ for a week. At any rate, the two men in the story, Eugene Peters and Abba Roth, attend the baseball camp in which Peters was supposed to ask Roth for a business partnership. That's as far as I have read, but I can at least say that I have enjoyed Canin's understatement style and climax building techniques. The title story of the book, "The Palace Thief" was made into a movie you might recognize by the title of "The Emperor's Club." He is certainly a writer I want to read more about. I am not quite sure what else besides "The Palace Thief" and "Emperor of the Air" he has written. He is also a practicing doctor, so he may not have published as much.

The semester is going well at school. The students came back from their Easter holiday quite determined to get this stretch of time done and welcome summer. The last day of school is June 7th, I believe. What else? I ran for a bit yesternight. It went well. I didn't push myself much because I still feel my knee is tender, but at least I got into the swing of it. In the meantime I am doing 200 sit-ups a day instead of running. I have two full-days of committee meetings tomorrow and Thursday. My classes will be directed by a substitute the next two days. I really don't enjoy committee work, but it has to be done. Well, I think that's it for now. I will continue reading "The Palace Thief" the rest of this week.

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At 6:44 AM, Blogger suzanabrams said...

Good luck with the committee meetings, JCR & may you enjoy reading The Palace Thief.
I left a comment in the post below as well. Hope you will read it.
btw, my other link is Susan A. Just that I've withheld posting & will post only from next week. :-)


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