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Breathing Lessons Essay | Critical Essay #6

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Critical Essay #6

Eder considers Breathing Lessons as Tyler's "funniest book," although perhaps "not her best" in the following review.

No Olympian or high-flying view for Anne Tyler's art and the people it invents. She is a low-flyer, a crop-duster, zooming in at head-height and lifting hats; skimming the ordinary because it provides certain essential kinds of humanity, sometimes catching a wing tip on it or blowing its dust into her engine; and finally, with all the risks, accomplishing a gleeful astonishment.

Her people are arrayed in comic eccentricity. But Tyler waives the preservative chill customary to such a thing. They perform as close as possible to life temperature. They are soft, sometimes too soft.

In almost any Tyler novel there are moments when the reader worries about the low altitude, wonders whether the humor and sentiment are getting perilously close to shtick, suspects that the characters are becoming so comfortable...

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This section contains 987 words
(approx. 4 pages at 300 words per page)
Purchase our Breathing Lessons Study Guide
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Breathing Lessons from BookRags and Gale's For Students Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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