Read Between the Lines

Pitch for a “Matthew Pearl-style” novel: After Danielle Steel’s death in 2015, her youngest son finds an unpublished manuscript among her effects. Rather than being one of her trademark romance novels, the book exhibits a complex and disjointed plot realized through the first-person accounts of several different Habsburgian villagers at the outset of the Thirty Years War. There are chapter-long digressions into pre-Heideggerian Continental philosophy, extensive footnotes, and a penchant for untranslated German-language poetry. Soon after the book is made known to the public, both the son and the manuscript disappear, and the fate of Steel’s family and the future of American literature are left to the detective skills of Tom Clancy.

Of course, Matthew Pearl, reading tonight from his latest novel, “The Last Dickens” at Books and Books in Coral Gables, has a little better taste—Dante, Poe, Tennyson—in choosing subject matter for his literary mysteries. He went to Harvard and Yale, after all, and was raised in Davie, presumably spending his time reading Dostoyevsky at a back table in the Round-Up. Pearl takes the podium at 8 p.m. and the event is free.
Tue., March 24, 8 p.m., 2009


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