Saturday, March 1, 2014

Mount Terminus, by David Grand. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2014

Set in the early years of the 20th century, ‘Mount Terminus’ chronicles the rise of the film industry and the growth of Los Angeles through the eyes of Joseph Rosenbloom, most often referred to as ‘Bloom’. Bloom’s father is a millionaire due to his invention, a device that allowed the smooth projection of film.
When Bloom’s mother dies, his father takes him to Mount Terminus, California, to raise Bloom in isolation on the house on the hill. The elder Rosenbloom feels that his money has created a world where his son will always be taken care of, but he hasn’t counted on the fact that no matter how hard you try, the world will always find its way in and pain will enter every life.

The prose is dense but not slow reading. The story has epic proportions and reads like a grim fairy tale: sibling betrayals in two generations, a stolen birthright (and more), good and evil twins, a quest. Bloom is the innocent to whom things happen rather than a person who makes things happen; he is a puer who takes forever to mature. Bloom is not, in fact, a particularly interesting character, but enough adventures happen to and around him that the story kept my interest. The story is not just about Bloom; it’s about love and art and unwise grandiosity. It reads like a long dream that you don’t really want to have end. 

 I received this book from the Amazon Vine program in exchange for a fair review. This in no way affected my opinion of the book. 

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