Monday, June 23, 2014

Noah Didn't Need A Compass

photo by Anna Reavis

Often when I finish a book that has truly engaged me, like Kafka on the Shore, I have a good bit of difficulty choosing my next read.  Last week after finishing my first Murakami,  I promptly ordered three more, but as they didn’t arrive for several days, and I wasn’t about to go bookless, I had to do something.  So I trekked down to the library to see what was new (to them) and found a copy of an Anne Tyler book that had been donated by another patron.  Noah’s Compass is a small volume in which nothing much happens, but I enjoyed it just the same.  I’d forgotten how approachable and likeable I find Anne Tyler’s voice.  

In Noah’s Compass, Liam is a 60 year old divorced man who has little contact with his family and who has just lost his job of many years.  After he is attacked in his new down-sized apartment and wakes up from a concussion, he begins to realize how much he has been coasting, out of touch with his own life.  While this was a small book and a quick read, it does touch on what I think is an important issue in our society:  the isolation and alienation born of the dissolution of marriage and family and of our loss of community.  Liam realizes that he, like Noah, hasn’t needed a compass, because neither of them was ever really going anywhere.   At the resolution of the book, though, Liam finds redemption in a way he never anticipated.  I do love a quick read with a happy ending.

And now the I keep reading Anne Tyler, or do I tackle my new Murakamis?  Any recommendations on favorite Anne Tylers?  



JoAnn said...

I read a lot of Anne Tyler's earlier books, but over the past 5-10 years I've been listening. She has become an "audio author" for me. Of her more recent books, I really liked Digging to America.

thecuecard said...

Well I've read 2 Anne Tyler books over the years. Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant and The Accidental Tourist. Both are good. You can't go wrong! cheers.

Vintage Reading said...

Can't believe I missed an Anne Tyler post! Have you read The Accidental Tourist? It's wonderful and as, JoAnn says, so is Digging to America. Many people believe Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant is her best book but its a little sad for me.

Amy said...

Thanks all! I think my library has The Accidental Tourist, so I'll start there.