“We Are Now Beginning Our Descent”

February 19, 2009 at 3:53 pm | Posted in Fiction | Leave a comment

I was mesmerized by We Are Now Beginning Our Descent.  It’s a very intense, potent book, three parts sharp observation to two parts breathtakingly nasty conversation to one part dead-on humor.  For some reason, parts of it reminded me of Iris Murdoch.

There’s a one-page anecdote about a cat that had me cracking up laughing off and on all night.

I want to share a quote that is not necessarily typical of the book, but stood out for me:

‘Everybody’s full of darkness,’ said M’Gurgan.  ‘Like everybody’s full of blood.  You need it and it needs to stay on the inside.’

Mainly, the plot will keep you hooked.  It’s one thing after another.  Does Adam Kellas just have the rottenest luck, or has he done it to himself?  You find yourself feeling sympathy for an unsympathetic character.

What Meek does so masterfully is to tell a political story through very human moments.  His ear for the differences in national characters is impeccable.  We are made to see how the ramifications of personal and world events are twined together.

I really loved this book.  It wouldn’t surprise me to see James Meek pop up on the Booker list one of these days.

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