Friday, September 10, 2010

The Pain Chronicles

Melanie Thernstrom's "The Dead Girl" is one of my favorite books of all time. She poetically tells the story of the murder of her best friend, Bibi Lee, when the two were in college. People say that Truman Capote invented a new genre, true crime, when he wrote "In Cold Blood," but for me, Thernstrom did the same thing with her dazzling, heart-wrenching, literary take on her very personal loss. Phrases from it still stick in my head although I haven't read it in years.

Now she has a new book, "The Pain Chronicles," which discusses her own battle with chronic pain as well as the place of pain in our lives. While the topic doesn't enthrall me at first glance, Thernstrom is such a good writer that I know I'll probably read it just for that.

Thernstrom also wrote "Halfway Heaven," the story of a murder at Harvard. It's well-written, but naturally lacks the personal depth of "The Dead Girl." Still recommended.


k said...

OMG I've never met anyone else who loved The Dead Girl like I do that I didn't give the book to!

Julia said...

I love your book suggestions! You've pointed me to a lot of great reads Thank you!

Anonymous said...

I have to say I find The Dead Girl a very disappointing read, difficult to get through, uninspiring and flat. I have put a hold on The Pain Chronicles at the library though... hoping I can get through it because I am very interested in the subject matter.