Tuesday, February 14, 2012

The Flame Alphabet by Ben Marcus

The Flame Alphabet by Ben Marcus is a new novel, which I just could not finish.  Neither the story, the writing nor the execution were great.  I'll cut to the chase: pass.

A plague, carried by children and spread through language, kills.  Sam and Claire try to understand what is infecting them, how to be close to their angry daughter, Esther, and how to survive.  Sam leaves to find answers.  Sam and Claire are also "Jewish" and worship in little huts in the forest where they receive messages from a "rabbi".

The premise of the novel is creative but that is all that I liked about the book.  Marcus is supposed to be a great writer; I just was not impressed or drawn into the story.  The plot drags.  The sentence construction is okay.  As to the Jewishness of the family, aside from using Jewish words (e.g., Jew and Rabbi), not much about what Sam and Claire did seems Jewish to me.  While I am an open-minded reader, this book was too much for me.

1 comment:

  1. That's too bad because I was *really* looking forward to reading this one. I'll probably still check it out, but my excitement is a little dampened.