Books: The Weight Of The World

Pat Barker looks everywhere for the answer to the enigma of evil. Maybe she looks in too many places

Any novel that features an artist working on a 15ft. statue of Christ should be approached with care. There's a lot of potential here for being trapped under a collapse of heavy symbolism. You might also think twice about a book that takes up the moral dilemma of photojournalists who chase after suffering that they can observe but not mitigate. Some ironies have been worn smooth by overuse. And beware all stories in which a world-weary middle-age man finds happiness in the arms of a girl roughly 20 years younger. There are only so many happy fictions a reader should have...

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