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Ellington Boulevard: A Novel in A-Flat by Adam Langer
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Another winding tale of people and their city from Adam Langer. The loose-limbed narrative about gentrification and love is engaging, funny, and frequently insightful, but the book just didn't hang together for me as well as Crossing California. Langer packs in a few too many characters and a few too many coincidences, although I laughed out loud at the unexpected Rovner! callback. Also, the Broadway musical motif just didn't resonate for me. But there's a great dog named Herbie Mann!
Langer has this thing in all three of his books that drives me nuts: The man either can't or won't write dialogue. Instead, we get whole paragraphs of the narrator describing what the characters are saying to each other. It's distracting. Perhaps he should start hanging out with Richard Russo and learn how to write a conversation.
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