I’ve turned a corner within The People’s Act of Love and am finding it immensely enjoyable and full of sly humor. Mutz is most intriguing, the Jewish, Czech army lieutenant who is in love with the beautiful Anna Petrovna and who is possibly freezing to death as he pursues a criminal who may be lurking in the village woods to harm Anna and others. Or not.
James Meek has written a novel that shifts and twists the reader’s allegiances and perceptions, not unlike many genre works focusing upon a murder and subsequent hunt for a killer. However, Meek’s light, mildly irreverent tone casts great readability upon a tale that could have become ponderous as a Siberian winter night. It’s almost enough to make me wonder if in some way The People’s Act of Love isn’t a subtle send-up of many overly plotted and contrived thrillers. Thankfully, I don’t know anything of them and can’t fully make the comparison. I can only guess how much finer this novel is.
At this point in any book, I begin to anxiously search for my next read. It’s going to be London Fields by Martin Amis. I’ve heard so many good things about this and can’t wait. My eyes are also scanning the shelves for material to pack next month for travel to France and England. I have activities planned in both locales but am saving some time to loiter in the café, novel and wineglass to hand.