Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant

I picked up Anne Tyler's Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant yesterday afternoon - I couldn't put it down again until I finally reached the end at one in the morning.

Tyler doesn't just paint an intricate picture of each scene; she constructs a lovingly rendered three dimensional arena for you where all five senses are stimulated, like experiencing a lucid dream. And not one word of description or dialogue is superfluous. Every character was fully formed in my mind's eye with a few beautifully crafted sentences.

Those were my impressions as a reader. My feelings as a writer were mixed; on one hand I was both jealous and intimidated but on the other her writing spurred me on to improve mine, to strive to stimulate the senses and emote.

After all she's a writer's writer, nominated by both Roddy Doyle and Nick Hornby as 'the greatest novelist writing in English.' And when a novel not only comes alive in my imagination but also inspires me, I can't help but recommend it to everyone.

15 comments:

JJ said...

She's already on my TBR pile, but I don't think I've read anything by her. I will now.

Debs said...

Sounds a great book. I was up till 1am this morning trying to finish The Outcast but didn't enjoy it so much as want to get to the end and read something else.

Calistro said...

Wow that's quite an endorsement. Will definitely add it to my Amazon wish list. Thanks!

Yvonne said...

JJ, I'd never read anything by her either.

Debs, I hate that when you're dying to finish a book just to get it out of the way!

Calistro, it has its flaws like any other book - but her metaphors and similies are amazing.

KAREN said...

I love Anne Tyler, but haven't read this one so thanks for the recommendation. I find that great quality writing makes me jealous and motivated too!

Cathy said...

Anne Tyler is a great writer...though I haven't read that one yet.

Yvonne said...

Karen, I suppose it's something I'll have to get used to!

Cathy, I haven't read her other books, will have to give them a try.

HelenMH said...

Sounds great. Another to add to my list.

SpiralSkies said...

'A writer's writer'... now that's an aspiration I didn't know I had. Sigh.

I've not read anything by her either. Good old Amazon. I hope the postman doesn't sue me for hs chiropractic fees.

michelle said...

I love The Accidental Tourist. It has some great ideas. But I was not such a fan of A Slipping Down Life so kind of stopped reading Anne Tyler. Might give this one a go though :-)

Yvonne said...

Helen, I hope you enjoy it.

Jen, I know, I'd be happy just being 'a writer'. Full stop.

Michelle, I've never read any of her books so I think I'll try The Accidental Tourist next.

beth said...

I just finished The Amateur Marriage last week and loved it. I don't think I've ever read a Tyler I didn't like.

Yvonne said...

Beth, there's another one for my TBR list!

laurie said...

i've read and enjoyed all of her books. but "dinner at the homesick restaurant" is my favorite, hands down.

that's MY family she's writing about. i swear to god.

Yvonne said...

Laurie, I think you originally recommended the novel to me so thank you.