Sunday, June 5, 2011

Started Early, Took My Dog

Started Early, Took My Dog (Jackson Brodie, #4)Started Early, Took My Dog by Kate Atkinson

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A book by Kate Atkinson featuring Jackson Brodie is always a treat. The writing is clever but not forced. Here's an excerpt that caught my fancy:

"He considered, and rejected, the idea of playing a mindless game on his phone and was eventually driven to look for a Gideon Bible in the bedside drawers, but when he found one he realized he wasn't that desperate yet. A yellow Post-it note fluttered out of the Bible. In pencil, someone had written, "The Treasure here is you." Jackson stuck the Post-it note on his forehead and died of boredom."

There are lots of characters to follow in this intricately plotted story with the narrative jumping from present to past and back again (but then that's typical Atkinson). If you pay attention, you'll have a sense of what's happening. And I suppose you could read these titles out of sequence but I get great delight from recognizing allusions to earlier characters and situations.

If you find the title unusual, like I did, you are probably not as familiar with Emily Dickinson's poetry as you thought. Check the whole poem out HERE. If that illuminates the story for you, please share your insights with me.

And there are strands that are not answered at the end. I can only deduce that this foreshadows a future book. But isn't that like life?

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