The last few months have been full of book and film reviews comparing modern works to the Brontes. Just a few examples from Bronteana alone are: Pride and Prejudice being ‘too Bronte’, King Kong being too much like Heathcliff, Memoires of a Geisha being rather Janian, and most intriguingly, The Red Queen– a novel based on a Korean classic likened to Jane Eyre (I have dibs on writing a paper on this one! Well, I can try to claim it…). The list goes on. Here is another. The Thin Place, a novel by Kathryn Davis contains at least ‘a splash of Emily Bronte’:
Three fifth-grade girls go for a walk along a beach and find a dead man. Two of them run for help; the third brings him back to life.
So opens The Thin Place, the sixth novel by Kathryn Davis (“Versailles”), a novelist who has been compared to everybody from Hans Christian Andersen to Franz Kafka.
Partly that’s because of the fluid way she ranges from topic to topic, but mostly it’s because Davis’s writing doesn’t boil down neatly into punchy catchphrases. Plot synopses don’t do her justice, and adjectives don’t really help much, either.
My favorite description of her work comes from a Village Voice critic: “I like to think of Kathryn Davis as the love child of Virginia Woolf and Lewis Carroll, with a splash of Nabokov, Emily Brontë, and Angela Carter in the gene pool.” (I’ll pause for a moment while you try to wrap your head around that one.)
The rest of the article can be read here. …I’m not sure I can get my head around that. Then again, I’ve read two independent reivews claiming King Kong is like Heathcliff, so how difficult should this be to comprehend in light of that?