Burt Melnick

Burt Melnick

More Quietly No Doubt Than Many





Burt Melnick has published More Quietly No Doubt Than Many, a novel which resonates well with many of his former English class students who recognize a writing style that is reminiscent of Jane Austen's Mansfield Park. Set in Geneva and Boston, the novel's young heroine is portrayed as an Ecolint graduate whose life becomes entwined with a set of characters and locations that reflect the international crossroads of Geneva.

While there are many parallels to Jane Austen in style and in the plot, More Quietly No Doubt Than Many reflects a more contemporary lifestyle, being set in the recent past, and contrasts to parochial country settings more common to 19th century England. The subtle parody of social imperatives and popular literary preferences ring true in both authors.

In a rave review by another former Ecolint teacher, Peter Orange describes his colleague's novel as "a charming, heady, giddy voyage through the 'social gatherer' mind, where gossip and social relativism trump reality." Reviews of the novel by Burt Melnick's former students also resonate well with the characters who populate the novel, along with many other points of reference. They all express their enjoyment with revelations in the plot that keep the reader engaged throughout.

More Quietly No Doubt Than Many is an entertaining and engaging read that appeals to a wider public. In the manner of Austen, Melnick's novel brings to fore many of life's imperfections within the realm of irony and social realism, while subtly taking aim at garish perfectionism and exaggerated ideals that prevail in modern literature. The language employed by his characters closely reflects their relationships with one another. Whether focussed or fragmented, their expressions adapt well to the situation at hand.

In a collegial spirit, Peter Orange eloquently reviews More Quietly No Doubt Than Many:

Melnick's novel travels constantly and well. It is the most brilliant (both senses) summer vacation one can imagine. He paints very well for a writer, I feel. Any reader who has even had the briefest dalliance with any of Jane Austen's works, will enjoy the style, the characters' detailed glimpses into the most serious life and death issues and to the most trivial (not to them, of course) of concerns.

Melnick exquisitely captures both the spirit and substance of this privileged view of humanity. You are constantly invited to travel with their "modern" global views and then to participate in their lives as one might do at a sumptuous dinner event where the topic of the evening is to display insightful knowledge and insights into the lesser gifts of the social milieu with eager preconception.

It is a charming, heady, giddy voyage through the "social gatherer" mind where gossip and social relativism trump reality. Language from a bygone era returns in splendid contexts (e.g. "Jamie had been trying, but not too disagreeably, to alchemize that gratitude into something more personal and appetitive.", as well as, "Trish had put down her knife and fork and was looking at him, and in her look he read a whole jarring potpourri of emotions: surprise (but not shock) skepticism, disapproval, exasperation, affection, and, very faintly, a kind of sororal complicity.")

See what I mean?

You will certainly enjoy this well controlled romp and allow it to play on the very fibre of your mind's eye. Melnick has a gift and he shares well too.

Peter Orange

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More Quietly No Doubt Than Many