Possession

A.S. Byatt's Possession is a fabulous book, but one feels compelled make a few comments.

1. In "The Glass Coffin," the Christabel LaMotte story Roland reads, the glass coffin splintered and the shards "rang and vanished as they touched the earth." Four pages later, the tailor is confronted by the "black artist," and "it occurred to him that he could make do with the slivers of glass from the broken sarcophagus. So he took up the longest and sharpest . . ." Oops!

2. Christabel's teeth ("a little large for an exacting taste"; "one is surprised by the size and apparent strength of her large, very regular, teeth, which are distinctly ivory in colour") are scary.

3. Try reading the following sentence as Joey from Friends might: "Such delicate skills, such informed desire, and yet a virgin. There were possibilities, of which the most obvious was to him slightly repugnant, and then, when he thought about it with determination, interesting, too."