Saturday, September 01, 2007

All Time Top One

If someone asked you if you had a favorite book, would you have an answer? Perhaps you would frantically consider five very good contenders, and minutes would lapse while they all vied for your affection. While I might suffer the same fate should someone ask for my favorite movie or television program, I would not hesitate when declaring my favorite novel of all time. This honor goes to Madeleine is Sleeping by Sarah Shun-lien Bynum.

This book is a revelation to me. The prose is positively lyrical and the story magical. It has a heightened sense of whimsy which reminds me of my favorite French movie, Amélie, only the book is significantly more "naughty". The title character, Madeleine, is indeed sleeping. It is in her dreams that she is awake, as she explores the mysteries of love while working in a somewhat twisted gypsy circus. I find the questionable parts more acceptable because the words are pretty.

It's been three years since her debut novel came out, and in my pathetic desperation I keep checking the Internet for signs that another is forthcoming. So far I have searched to no avail, but I still hold out hope. After all, Wesley Stace has just released his second novel, By George. I will greedily read that for a later blog review.

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