August 23, 2017

Turn of the Century by Kurt Andersen

Turn of the CenturyLast year Turn of the Century twice made it as far as my bedside table, but I never quite got to page 1. I’ve now finally got past that point!

It’s the story of husband and wife Lizzie and George who are a New York power couple. She runs a cutting edge software firm, and he produces some of the hottest shows on TV. It’s a tale of the pressures of modern life, dealing with death, kids, envy of your spouse, the chaos of a life straddling New York, LA, Seattle etc.

There are some great characters, some real cartoons of people and the premise is great. BUT at over 600 pages it’s 200 pages too long. There is far too much description – why illustrate a point with one example when 20 will do.

The book takes us from NYE 1999 through 2000 to NYE again. They have one hell of a year. And some of what happens seems pretty implausible, whilst rest is believable but not dull. I have enjoyed reading it, but would have appreciated it being markedly shorter.

 

Twelve Rooms with a View by Theresa Rebeck

What a book! The first book in months to keep me up until the early hours of the morning – and night after night as well.Twelve Rooms with a View

I thoroughly recommend this book to anyone to appreciates stories about how people deal with each other in times of stress.

So much happens in the book that it’s hard to explain it without giving a lot away, but I’m going to do my best.

Essentially there are 3 sisters (Lucy, Alison and Tina Finn), 2 brothers (Pete and Doug Drinian), the most historic apartment in Manhattan, and ‘The Building’ (those who inhabit The Edge – most exclusive apartment building in Manhattan where the most historic apartment in Manhattan is located).

Tina Finn is our heroine, and probably the only consistently sane adult in the whole book (well there are a couple of others but that might spoil the book). Which is impressive considering the ridiculous things she does.

It’s a tale of 2 families arguing over a will, and basically who gets the apartment. There are 100s of twists and turns, and lots of characters, although Theresa Rebeck makes it no problem at all to keep track of who’s who. And nor does she get bogged down in the legal side of it all – it really is a story about human connections and relationships.

AND it ends very satisfyingly.