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Clif's Book World

Adventures from reading books captured within short reviews.

Ancient Light - This is a wispy dreamlike narrative of the memories of an older professional actor who is reflecting on past experiences while also describing what may be his last job of acting in a movie. His flashbacks to when he was 15 and had an illicit sexual affair with an older married woman provide a tension throughout the book that builds to a climatic ending with a twist.

There's a variety of components within the book that all seem to include a tie to the death of his daughter several years earlier. A daughter can be found, either symbolically or metaphorically, in all parts of the story, even in his teenage adulterous encounters.

Throughout the story he's questioning his memory. In the end we learn that memories of different people of the same event aren't always the same.

I suppose this book is best appreciated by older people (like me) who have many life experiences to reflect upon and to make sense of. However, I didn't feel comfortable with the erotic nature of the narrator's teenage years that include what is legally statutory rape. I suppose the excitement of vicariously experiencing forbidden sex plays a role in this book that is similar to that of murder in a murder mystery genre book. In other words, everyone agrees that murder is bad, but it sure is good at concentrating the reader's attention.