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Friday, December 15, 2006

The Feast of Love

The Feast of Love: A Novel by Charles Baxter

5 of 8 people found the following review helpful:

June 26, 2005

Let me begin by offering a word of caution. This is a literary book about love. It is not a "love story" in the traditional sense like "The Notebook". It's not particularly romantic.

It's more a disjointed narrative about Bradley Smith and the people around him--his neighbor and two of his employees--as they go through various relationships. Bradley's first two marriages go astray for different reasons. His third relationship works better. His neighbors have strained relations with their son. And his employees--Chloe and Oscar--are "Living on a Prayer" as Bon Jovi said.

I found it all sort of clinical and not thoroughly entertaining or engaging. The Chloe parts were the most interesting because of her unique voice. While the book I thought was supposed to deal with Bradley, Chloe came to dominate the story until Bradley disappears almost entirely in the last third of the book after he begins his third relationship. All I can tell you about that one is she's a black emergency room doctor from Africa. I guess she's nice, but there's no detail given to their relationship.

In the end, this book is hit-and-miss. That made it a slow read for me. While the prose is good enough and the characters are mostly interesting, it was not a compelling book for me. I hope you feel differently.

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