Russell Banks' new book of travel writing is a very strange bird of a book. Somehow he attempts writing about island hopping through the Caribbean with his fourth wife (Chase Twichell) while reflecting on all his other marriages. It started out quite irritating, hopeless, and then by his extreme determination to keep to it I started to side with him and ended up enjoying the fuzzy-wuzzy long piece. The second part of the book are the money pieces he cranked out for magazines and they read with a certain drone, although make no mistake about it, Banks writes well, even if he tries to prove to himself (unfortunately for us) that he remains a mighty mouse. Perhaps a craftsman would have taken a hold of that fuzzy-wuzzy long piece and hammered out a 150 page volume of classic iron.
Then I believe we would have an original book.