The possibility of Vilnius Poker is there from the first page. I got snagged on a sentence, and found it hard to move on.
An elongated face, turned towards me: narrow lips, slightly hollowed cheeks, and quiet eyes (probably brown)-a woman’s face, milk and blood, questioning and torment, divinity and depravity, music and muteness.
Forgive me, I may be some time.
The novel’s translator Elizabeth Novickas wrote an essay on Gavelis’ story:
When asked to come up with a summary of what the book is about, or a single section that could characterize it, I find myself groping at so many things that I’m completely at a loss. Yes, I suppose one could summarize something of the plot: there is a murder, a love story, four narrators, a number of characters, a more or less concrete time frame, and most certainly a concrete place, but how to include that time also goes around in circles, and on two occasions actually stops? And what to do with details of the plot that get told over and over, so that in the end you hardly know which version to believe, much less how to describe it?
>Glad you're enjoying this, Anthony! I've liked the very little I've read so far (feels kind of like a Tarkovsky film in a way early on), but I must thank you for tracking down the translator's essay–need to look into that.
>Richard – This book, so far, is mind-blowingly good. I'm barely understanding what is happening in parts, but the power of the writing is unavoidable.
>I agree about the power of the writing! It took me a little longer than it did you, but I'm about 150 pages in and also hooked. Love the circularity and recombination of themes.
>Although the language grabbed me immediately, the story took 30 or so pages to completely hook me. I'm at about the same point as you and finding it very rewarding so far.