Sunday, February 21, 2010

School Book: Chatterton

This is the first book all week that I've actually enjoyed. Peter Ackroyd's Chatterton is not something that I would normally decide to read on my own. But after both By Grand Central Station I Sat Down and Wept and Mrs. Dalloway, I was just really happy that it actually had a plot.
Chatterton is an odd tale. It starts off when Charles Wychwood finds an old painting of a middle aged man whose face looks familiar. Charles and his friend Philip recognize the face as Thomas Chatterton, but much older than he should have been. Suddenly, Charles finds himself confronted with the intriguing possibility: what if Chatterton didn't die when he was supposed to, at age 17, but faked his death and kept forging the work of other famous people?
I really liked the many interesting and unique characters, from Charles, the poet who knows he is good but hasn't been discovered yet, to Harriet Scrope, the eccentric author who is failing to write her memoirs. All of them helped to make Chatterton a relatively quick, enjoyable read.

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