Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Book Reviews

The Labrador Pact by Matt Haig

You all know I am writing YA, but I don't only read YA.  So some of these books are just regular adult fiction.  Which is also good!

This book follows the story of Prince, labrador of the Hunter family. He does his best to stay true to The Labrador Pact, a mass covenant made by labradors in England to protect the family unit at all costs.

The narration by Prince is at once moving, humorous and heart-rending. He feels that the dysfunction experienced by the Hunters is due to his failings.

I love to see a writer try something new. Matt Haig effectively explores the theme of suburban familial decay through the eyes of the family dog. I enjoyed it.

Ultimately sad, The Labrador Pact isn't for everyone. It does make me wonder what our animals are really thinking. Warning: sexual situations and strong language.



The Road by Cormac McCarthy

As mentioned before, I like post-apocalyptic stories. They are some of my favorite things to read. The Road was no exception. Pulitzer Prize winning author Cormac McCarthy certainly has a way with words. He has a very interesting writing style, not using quotation marks at all and apostrophes rarely. Once I got into the rhythm of the writing, I didn't really notice it anymore. The prose is several times beautiful, but never dense. McCarthy is most often succinct. The Road feels like short fiction. It was a very quick read.

The Road
is the story of a father and son making their way through a desolate landscape burned into ash and rubble. Their existence is the constant scavenge for food in a world that gets colder by the day. Since the cataclysm (not explained specifically), the country has been reduced to lawless dead land, roving gangs and utter hopelessness. The man and the boy exist for each other. The father wants only to keep his child safe. The boy wants for them to continue to be 'the good guys.' Their love for each other is the only thing that sustains them. In most post-apocalyptic tales, there is no happy ending. In The Road, surprisingly, Cormac McCarthy gives us a sort-of-almost happy ending. It seemed happy to me. To some it wouldn't.

This was one post-apocalyptic tale I found to be very enjoyable. The setting is completely believable and totally frightening, full of post-apocalyptic cliches that I LOVE. Bleak. Very very bleak. I wouldn't recommend it for those that don't like depressing books. I'm sure I'll read this many more times. Warning: language, disturbing situations, cannibalism.

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