Saturday, February 24, 2007

Book Review: "The Vast Memory of Love"

Novelist Malcolm Bosse's The Vast Memory of Love is set in 1750s London, and features the typical themes of carousing nobles, down-and-out protagonists who have to resort to all manner of unsavory actions to keep afloat, &c. The book revolves loosely around the Elizabeth Canning affair (which actually happened), and also features regular appearances by (and first-person commentary from) author and magistrate Henry Fielding.

Bosse's habit of inserting "contextual tidbits" into the text was somewhat annoying (at the start of many chapters he threw in a list of historical events that were happening at the same time as the fictional occurrences), but on the whole this wasn't a bad novel. He's handled the seedy underbelly of Georgian London quite well, from the cutpurses and the Newgate turnkeys to the meetings of the notorious Hellfire Club.

This made for a good read, but didn't blow me away.

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