Monday, June 06, 2011
I picked up Practical Jean by Trevor Cole on the recommendation of friend Tara Harte (check out her blog for detailed comments on the book); what a funny and satisfying story! The book cover alone was enough to make you want to read it. I commend the author on his nailing of certain kinds of females and female relationships (in a somewhat exaggerated way, but that was just fine in the context); also true was the relationships of Jean and her brothers. The comedy was right on.
Not so successful an experience was Iodine by Haven Kimmel. The structure of the book was spacey, bouncing between first and third person narration, with the main character having one name to herself and another to others, and sometimes and inexplicably breaking off mid sentence. This was a fine way to bring to the page someone who, it turns out, suffers from frequent dissociative/fugue states (owing to childhood horrors); the reader is put firmly on her side, so that it comes as a surprise (though you can backtrack and see the trail) when a period that added up to four months for the narrating character was actually over four years. What I’m saying is that there was nothing wrong with the book; I just wasn’t in a place to enjoy it. This was my first foray into the author’s fiction and I haven’t stopped, as you will see next post.