Wednesday, July 23, 2008


I just finished rereading Ice by Anna Kavan. I read this book years ago, after coming across a reference to it in an essay by my favorite jazz critic, Max Harrison. It's a very strange book - beautifully grim and disturbing. There's really not much of plot, and only three main characters: a fragile, albino-haired woman referred to only as the girl, the narrator, who is also never named, and an offical called the warden. The narrator and the warden struggle to possess the girl as they all attempt to flee the ice which is advancing over the planet and which will destroy all life. To add to the complexity of the book, the action seems to shift rapidly from fantasy to "reality" and from one setting to another - in one paragraph the narrator may have learned that the girl is dead, while in the next she is walking on a balcony. And the narrator and the warden sometimes seem to be one and the same rather than separate people. But they all know that death from the approaching ice is just a matter of time.

Like I say, a strange and disturbing book.

1 comment:

Robo said...

Sounds like a book I might enjoy.

I'm reading Crime & Punishment right now, and it has been giving me really weird dreams.