Review | The NYRB Book Club July 2017 | The Violins of Saint-Jacques by Patrick Leigh Fermor


One of the bookish subscription boxes I’ll be reviewing this yeardoesn’t actually involve a box, so I guess it’s just a bookish subscription. I’m talking about the New York Review Books Book Club.

The deal I signed up for included 12 books (one each month, you know) as well as a yearly subscription to The Paris Review (four copies in total). You can read my reviews of the books in my NYRB subscriptions so far and reviews of the Paris Review.

Well! This is going to be a quick review. I started The Violins of Saint-Jacques and immediately didn’t give a shit about it. Amazon describes it like this:

Patrick Leigh Fermor’s only novel displays the same lustrous way with words as his beloved travel trilogy (A Time of Gifts, Between the Woods and the Water, and The Broken Road), the memoir of his youthful walk from the Hook of Holland to Constantinople. This slim book starts with the meeting of an English traveler and an enigmatic elderly Frenchwoman on an Aegean island. He is captivated by her painting of a busy Caribbean port in the shadow of a volcano, which leads her to tell him the story of her childhood in that town back at the beginning of the twentieth century. The tale she unfolds, set in the tropical luxury of the island of Saint-Jacques, is one of romantic intrigue and decadence involving the descendants of slaves and a fading French aristocracy. Then, on the night of the annual Mardi Gras ball, a whole world comes to a catastrophic and haunting end.

I read about 30 pages and it just dragged and dragged and I had no patience for it. Perhaps it was my mood, I don’t know. I do know that I had no time for it that day and I’ve got too many books in my queue to spend time reading things that actively bore me.

Rating: ?/10 – I didn’t read enough of this to rate it. I also think it would appeal to a pretty small demographic of people and they would likely like it.

Recommended for: I don’t know.

Does it pass the Bechdel–Wallace testN/A I doubt it though. Did you read the description?

Author of color / main character of color / female author / female main character: N / N / N / N

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