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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    The Diviners highlights society’s woes

    Author Rick Moody has somewhat of a cult following, and after reading his latest novel “”The Diviners,”” it’s easy to see why. His writing style is very distinct, characterized by short sentences and excruciatingly intricate detail, no matter the topic or relevance to the story.

    Case in point: “”The Diviners”” opens up with a whopping 12-page description of the sun rising. It’s practically poetic the way the light flies around the Earth, illuminating both continents and possibilities. Not every chapter is as elaborate, but Moody makes good use of his word count.

    Each chapter reads almost as if it’s a short story, with a new character that is somehow related to a previous character taking up the narrative, which gives Moody plenty of time to create each persona. All of which intertwine for several chapters, introducing more than a dozen characters. Each one is loosely related to Vanessa Meandro, a very mean, oversized producer fighting for the script of an absurd miniseries called “”The Diviners,”” which doesn’t actually exist. At times, the character progression is fluid – Vanessa’s mother, her assistant, her assistant’s movie star lover, her brother and so on. At other times, characters come completely out of the blue, such as the character who arises when Vanessa’s assistant’s brother knocks out an art curator with a brick.

    With each new character comes a little bit more of the story in a sometimes clever way. In one instance, a character is created through diary entries and in another, a somewhat theatrical police report. With each chapter comes increasingly dramatic and inane plot points, all in the name of an ironic exploitation transcending from the book’s main plot point to the theme itself.

    Throughout the book, Moody uses very flowery language, spending too much time on details, and the book seems far longer than it should be, no matter that he’s trying to show the ridiculousness of a television-obsessed culture jumping onto the latest bandwagon. And it’s true, that at one point or another, almost every character is driven by the desire to be in on “”The Diviners”” as the next big thing. It’s easy to get lost in the exaggerated language that Moody uses, but it’s also easy to understand why it’s there. This is Moody’s epic, putting society’s woes front and center.

    Rating: ****

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