I started reading Irish novelist Joseph O'Connor's Redemption Falls the other day. The book is set in the immediate aftermath of the American Civil War; perhaps it's a kind of new wave Gone With the Wind (which I found rather dull, quite honestly). This book was highly praised by critics of all stripes in the TLS, and I can see why. O'Connor's language is like a very rich piece of chocolate mousse cake that I can only eat a little bite of at a time. I find myself rereading paragraphs just for the pleasure of nibbling at the author's delicious dessert of words, so I haven't reached page 30 yet. To wit:
She had not been walking long when it started to happen. Everything was coming to merit attention. A rice-field. Two flies. A dead chicken-hawk in a gully. The eyes of hungry alligators resentful in the slime. All of it seemed equal, which is one definition of madness. The weight of the world had lost proportion.
There were days when she hobbled until the world began to shimmer. The sky billowed around her like the folds of the apocalypse and the white-hot egg of pain in her breast threatened to crack with a seepage of venom.
Goodness knows how long it's going to take for me to reach the end of this novel