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The Beastly Beatitudes Of Balthazar B (2001)

The Beastly Beatitudes of Balthazar B (2001)
3.9 of 5 Votes: 5
0802137962 (ISBN13: 9780802137968)
grove press
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The Beastly Beatitudes Of Balthazar B...
The Beastly Beatitudes Of Balthazar B (2001)

About book: How in the world to describe this book??? It's like one of those abstract paintings, where you get too close and it's just blobs of colour. As a reader, I needed to hold it at arm's length, so to speak, disengage my analytic mind and just go with the emotion and enjoy the words. I started reading in analytical mode and was nearly driven to distraction by the sentence fragments, the minimal puncutation, the constant changes from first person to third person.Once I quit trying to focus too sharply and just let a fuzzy swarm of words entertain me, things went much better. Balthazar's story is very much a period piece--how the rich lived in Europe and Britain just after the second World War. Raised by nannies, never required to anything for himself or figure anything out, Balthazar becomes a confused young man, unable to figure out what he might want (beyond a woman to sleep with), how to negotiate adulthood or how to stand up for himself. Drifting on the current of life, never really taking command of the vessel. Balthazar can only be called sympathetic when compared to his childhood pal, Beefy, a man in search of pleasures of the flesh in any of their forms, wine, women & song. Heavy emphasis on wine and women. Eventually, Beefy's grandmother cuts off his money supply--and like many folk who believe that they should not have to bother with work, he sets off to find a rich woman to marry. Meanwhile, Bathazar's life seems to disintegrate around him as well.I would like to think that there is a deeper message to this novel--like the value of working toward goals or the enduring nature of friendship, but I haven't been able to produce one yet. In the end, I just have to accept it as an artistically written historical document.
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