The Broken Shore, Part II
1) The denouement is more full of incident than those of most novels. The main action has resolved itself, and then one has the delicious feeling that the wrapping up will almost become a new story in itself. Come to think of it, that's a graceful way of dealing with a problem that some readers have seen in Temple's other books: that his plots can be too complicated. Here, the twists and turns are more elaborate than ever, but also more clearly defined as sub-plots.
2) Temple has so much fun drawing his story to an end, that who can begrudge him a bit of a melodramatic groaner? Here's how one of the final chapters ends: "A stone retaining wall was leaning, blocks loose. Soon it would collapse, the worms would be revealed." Over the top? Sure. Did it make me smile? Yup. It's a small example of the author's flair for humor even in grim situations. As grim as events in his books may get, I suspect Temple does not take himself excessively seriously. And that's good.
3) And here's that foodie crack I alluded to in my first post about The Broken Shore:
"Don't care for the victuals in Noosa," Cashin said. As he said the word, he saw the strange spelling. "Listen, an ordinary old toasted cheese and tomato?"
Leon raised his right arm in a theatrical way, drew fingers across his forehead as if wiping away sweat. "I take it you don't require sheep-milk fetta with semi-dried organic tomatoes on sourdough artisan bread?"
"I suppose I can find a gassed tomato, some rat-trap cheese and a couple of slices of tissue-paper white."
© Peter Rozovsky 2007