Book Review: 'The Cloud Sketcher'
This ambitious epic — large in scope, lushly written, with a plot that covers politics, murder, and the Mob — is also a beautiful dissertation on architecture. Esko Vaananen is a young boy in a small Finnish town at the beginning of the 20th century; quiet and quirky, he’s determined to build a skyscraper, even though he’s never seen one. Esko survives the Finnish civil war — in one of the more harrowing descriptions of battle recently written — and travels to New York, where he struggles to become an accomplished architect. The one flaw in the book — and unfortunately, it’s a big one — is the romance that propels Esko and the story: The object of his affection and their relationship are so sketchily drawn that through much of the novel, the otherwise endearing Esko seems more like a creepy stalker than a sadly spurned lover. B
The Cloud Sketcher