Thursday, August 20, 2009

129 - Heroic Measures; Jill Ciment

Heroic Measures is a short novel that takes place, all in one weekend. Three major events are going on in this story over this weekend: (1) - A gasoline tanker truck is stuck in the midtown tunnel, and a possible hostage situation has the city residents in a panic wondering if they are in the midst of another terrorist attack. (2) - Ruth, a former teacher, and Alex, an artist, are elderly New York City residents, who have lived in a 5th floor walk up for 45 years. The time has come to sell their apartment, and for them to find something in a building with an elevator, for them and their beloved dachshund, Dorothy. (3) - Dorothy, the 12-year old dog of the couple appears to be suddenly paralyzed, and is rushed by the couple to an animal hospital at the other end of the city, while the city is in crisis. Dorothy is clearly the life blood of this elderly, childless couple. They are filled with anxiety waiting for calls from the Vet, to find out how Dorothy is doing. All the while, numerous people tour their apartment which is on the market, and a bidding war develops. Prices fluctuate with every news update on the hostage situation terrorizing the city.

The authors writing is very vivid, and so funny at times. The story is told from multiple points of view, including Dorothys -- a cute idea indeed. The author's writing style really appealed to me as well.....

(p.96) Alex and Ruth have a date this evening with Rudolph and May, their oldest friends as well as Alex's gallery dealers.....Rudolph is tall and concave with features that look chipped from flint. May is flat and thin as a popsicle stick with a glorious thick gray braid worn down her back. Now at seventy-six, the braid finally reaches the base of her spine. Despite May's family's wealth, bluebloods from Boston, she always looks shabby, whereas Rudolph a rag-picker's son, dresses like a count".

Heroic Measures certainly has a different kind of plot line, but somehow, it works beautifully. This was truly a well done novel, that left me thinking about the things that really matter in life when you get right down to it.

RATING - 4.5/5 stars; Completed - 8/19/09; Library


  1. I've seen this book mentioned on another blog or two. I'm adding it to my TBR list. It sounds like a lot of story in such a short book!

  2. I won a copy of this recently, so I'm glad to see you enjoyed it so much. I can't wait to read it now!

  3. This sounds like a unique and moving book. Thank you for the terrific review -- you piqued my interest!

  4. I've never heard of this book. Thanks for mentioning it!

  5. Based on a couple of great reviews I have read of this book ( one being yours) I have put this book on my wish list. It looks like a great read, and I really love the fact that some of it is told from the dog's point of view. Glad you enjoyed it!


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