Thursday, April 4, 2013

Rave Review for James Salter on NPR

Alan Cheuse reviews All That Is by James Salter who visits Albany today:

"Reading this novel — and rereading it as I've been doing in preparation for this review — I found myself in a state that Salter's work, as with the finest writers we know, often induces. The writing is not breathtaking, but breath-enhancing. One seems to draw in more oxygen; the pulse races as when viewing some gloriously rugged and fast-paced adventure movie, or when, in a dream, you get caught up in some fabulous situation that you never imagined you had the power to invent. It's not furious action that excites in these pages, however, but rather Salter's clarity, precision and genius at concision. His emotion-packed sentences, often employing sharp and resonant metaphors, reveal the inner sensations and the truth of ordinary human experience as it plays out over time. Often writing only sentence fragments, Salter zeroes in on the absolutely correct details to evoke mood and place — "Night," we hear about a residence in upstate New York, "with the great river silent. Night with bits of rain. The entire house creaked in winter, and in the summer it felt like Bombay."


More about Salter's visit:

Picture: Salter in the cockpit of an Army fighter plane in the 1940s.