East Coast Branch of the TRMBC reporting in on Florida

NOTE: The following post was sent to us via email from our former member Burk Ketcham who moved to East Coast but still participates in reading our book selections. I posted his comments here for him. Ron

I have only been to Florida  three times – twice to Miami on a trip to and from Cuba and once on a canoe trip through the Okefenokee Swamp with one of my sons. The swamp was interesting but you can have Miami. Nothing In “Florida” with its stories filled with bugs, snakes, alligators, humidity, rain, sink holes, hurricanes and aimless citizens makes me want to go there again.

David asked us to pick out a few sentences worth comment. These are mine:

p 18 – ”She read Shakespeare, Neruda, Rilke, and he fell asleep with their cadences and the sea’s slow rhythm entwined in his head.”

 P 37 – “He ate Thanksgiving dinner wanting to weep into his sweep potatoes. His family was gathered around him, his wife and  daughter and their closest friends and their children, and he could see them laughing, but he couldn’t hear the jokes” 

That resonated with me as I went to Boston for Thanksgiving and my hearing aids had a breakdown and I missed much of the dinner table conversation.

I found that Groff was very good at creating suspense in some of the stories.  But I wished for more dialog and when there was some there were no quotation marks.  I also felt like many of the characters were virtual as they were nameless, just the mother,the young son and so on. I also felt  that the stories were written for those with attention deficits. Well, that may be today’s younger readers.  It just seemed to me that the action jumped hither and yon with almost too much well crafted imaging language.

I could not wait to get through one story “FOR THE GOD OF LOVE, FOR THE LOVE OF GOD” which seemed to drag on and on.  All the others were interesting but I really did not come up with a favorite.


About Ron Boothe

I am a Professor Emeritus at Emory University, currently living in Tacoma Washington USA.
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