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Mortals It's been a long time since Rush's last novel, 1991's National Book Award winner Mating -- too long, judging from the baggy diffuseness of his 700-plus...MortalsFiction It's been a long time since Rush's last novel, 1991's National Book Award winner Mating -- too long, judging from the baggy diffuseness of his 700-plus...2003-06-06
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Mortals

Genre: Fiction; Author: Norman Rush

It’s been a long time since Rush’s last novel, 1991’s National Book Award winner Mating – too long, judging from the baggy diffuseness of his 700-plus-page follow-up, a portrait of a CIA agent in 1990s Botswana who allows mistrust to seep into his relationship with his wife. As a portraitist of marriage and of Africa, Rush is acutely observant (though it’s not clear if the fact that his expat characters never sound syntactically American is a choice or a failure). Unfortunately, he’s also stuffed in his narrator’s observations – apparently all of them – on politics, poetry, homosexuality, religion, and, at peculiar length (no pun intended), his own penis. Comparisons to Graham Greene will no doubt be forthcoming, but Greene never bedecked such a thin, arch narrative with such massive ornamentation.

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