From the book jacket: A grand romantic novel of desire, fame,
fanaticism, and unimaginable reversals of fortune set in the outskirts
of the Bronx in the 1930s, as New York fills with Europe's ousted
dreamers, turned overnight into refugees.
Comment: I'm not quite sure what to make of 'Heir To The Glimmering World' - I felt that I was only skimming the surface of the book and was failing to comprehend some of the underlying themes (I had the same feeling when reading The Great Fire by Shirley Hazzard). For me, Publishers Weekly sums things up succinctly by saying, 'erudite exposition is packed into the book, so that character study and discourse occasionally grind the plot to a halt. Edifying and evocative, if often daunting, this is a concentrated slice of eccentric life.'
I suppose that's really the point - this isn't a book to read for the plot so much as for the thoughts that it generates; as John Leonard writing in the New York Times so eloquently puts it, 'Cynthia Ozick braids at least three and probably four ghostly glimmers and ''phantom eels'' of thought into a single luminous lariat -- or maybe a hangman's noose.'
This review is from the September 1, 2005 issue of BookBrowse Recommends. Click here to go to this issue.
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