Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Stars and Bars (1984)

This is easily my least favorite of the William Boyd novels that have consumed my summer of reading. It's a comic novel, a fish out of water tale about an English art appraiser on a trip to the deep South where he becomes embroiled with a family of eccentrics. It suffers from that comic-novel problem of ultimately not being all that amusing. It's especially painful when there are clearly scenes intended to be both outrageous and riotously funny that fall flat. Also, the main character, Henderson Dores, is described early on and frequently as suffering from shyness and it doesn't really fit. I know shyness, and he doesn't seem to have it. He's more of a spineless prick. Can't win 'em all.

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