ISBN: 0553148923 really wanted to like this book. How could I not, the synopsis from the back cover makes you want to start reading it:
Still Life with Woodpecker is sort of a love story that takes place inside a pack of Camel cigarettes. It reveals the purpose of the moon, explains the difference between criminals and outlaws, examines the conflict between social activism and romantic individualism, and paints a portrait of contemporary society that includes powerful Arabs, exiled royalty, and pregnant cheerleaders. It also deals with the problem of redheads.
It solves the problem of redheads Brilliant.
Unfortunately it seems to me that this is one of those post-modern books that thinks it is smarter than it is. Or better than it is Which is a pity, because there are some really nice touches in it, but overall I just didn’t love it. I didn’t even really like it all that much, but I had two train journeys and it passed the time.
The plot revolves around a princess, an outlaw, and how to make love stay. I guess it’s a fairy tale for the 80’s, it even has a frog waiting to be kissed. But it is one of those cult novels that some people seem to just love, so who knows, you might be one of those peoples. There are plenty of wonderful one-liners, I borrowed the book and have returned it, so can’t quote from it, but I’m sure if you google you’ll find a few.
I think my problem with it was that the characters never really felt real to me. They were entertaining and amusing, but nothing more, the ideas seemed more important to the author than the character and story.