Tuesday, June 16, 2015
June 16, 2015: AmericanStudies Beach Reads: Pleasantville
[Each of the last few years, I’ve helped kick off summer with a series on AmericanStudies Beach Reads. If it ain’t broke and all, so here’s this year’s edition! Please share your responses and beach read nominees for a weekend post that’ll put its toes in the sand!]
On a great new mystery that literally forced its way into this series.
I wanted the second post in this year’s Beach Reads series to focus on a relatively new novel, and was all set to write a post on David Gilbert’s funny and moving & Sons (2013), which I certainly recommend. But at the same time I had my hands on Attica Locke’s new third mystery novel, Pleasantville (2015), and, well, I couldn’t put it down long enough to write the post. Indeed, I’m writing these words having just finished Locke’s novel, which I was compelled to do before I did anything else. So even though I’ve already paid ample tribute to Locke’s considerable talents in this space, I’m not sure there’s a better definition of a great beach read than a book that requires your sustained attention, work or other obligations be damned, until you’ve finished it. Pleasantville fits that bill and then some, and might well be the best of Locke’s three great novels. Enough said!
Next Beach Read tomorrow,
PS. Other Beach Reads you’d share?