August 12, 2011
Three Stages of Amazement, by Carol Edgarian
Posted by David Zaring

I love the idea of novels set in the world of business, and this one, by a name brand writer, with a positive review in the Times, looked like it might be an interesting look at the world of venture capital, fancy writer perspective division.  The good news is that I both finished the book and rather did enjoy the stuff involving desperate founders and conniving VCs.  The bad news is that the rest of the novel is a much more mincing slog.  Edgarian has an ear for internal dialogue that reaches the beating heart of precious, and then keeps on going.  Here's the founder taking leave of his wife to go on a business trip:

All right, guy, he cautioned himself.  Buck up.

"I'll call you," he shouted.

Doors opening and baning closed, Lena, of the fairies and the witches, waved.  Charlie's heart was quite certain that she waved.

Golly.  His heart was "quite certain" - not, just "he thought she waved."  I'm simply not sure I'm capable of the kinds of degrees of emotive inner thought that characterizes every one of Edgarian's characters.  It's a jarring juxtaposition with a novel that in large part is about the business of start-ups.  Recommended only if you have an inner life rich with fairies, witches, and champagne dreams.

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