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FrancesKR

FrancesKR

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Falling Angel: A Novel - William Hjortsberg (Note the first: this is in response to a discussion group, hence the heavy discussion of Maggie Krusemark.)
(Note the second: part of the reason I'm cribbing my response rather than writing a fresh review is that I am down with a bad cold. I may have missed details.)

I'm going to call this one a fun and very fast read--I went through it all in one sitting, took slightly less than three hours--and tip my hat to it for the ending; I'd bump it up half a star if I could for that.

I loved the little asides and references; I read the Emma Dodd Harvest Memorial Clinic as a shout-out to the Dodds from Harvest Home, and Angel's claim in Walter's Congress of Wonders to that he's not a salesman of "insurance or lightning rods" as one to the opening of Something Wicked This Way Comes, for example.

The sister thing didn't bug me; possibly because I went in knowing vaguely about Angel's history, I thought of it (in terms of technique) as foreshadowing the lie that Harry Angel and Johnny Favorite were different people; the one the reader sees is really the good one, and the evil one is off and away somewhere else. In terms of story, I took it as Maggie lying to stall someone who was setting her on edge about Johnny; I figured that Angel's contact would have mentioned a sister. (Something like "it ran in the family; they called her the Witch of Wellesley, and her sister flips cards in Carnegie Hall.")

(And of course Favorite was a Gemini. Of course.)

Not really subtle, but at least nicely textured, you know?

WRT the Black Mass; my opinion of Angel took a very hard nosedive when he was just sitting there taking pictures of the rape and murder during the ceremony, and that made the rest of the book rather less engaging. I may pick up another [a:William Hjortsberg|8058|William Hjortsberg|https://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/authors/1333048656p2/8058.jpg] later when I've got more time; this one felt like a fast, slightly pulpy horror/crime mix, and that's no bad thing, but I have a bunch of books to run through first.