Smackdown Books 2017

Arlene's smackdown17 book montage

The Memory of Things
Hour of the Bees
The Gospel Truth
Ultraman, Vol. 1
The Bunker Diary
Trouble Is a Friend of Mine
Footer Davis Probably Is Crazy
The Hired Girl
An Ember in the Ashes
The Porcupine of Truth
Enchanted Air: Two Cultures, Two Wings: A Memoir
Drowned City: Hurricane Katrina and New Orleans
Goodbye Stranger
Beautiful Blue World
The Blackthorn Key
All American Boys

Monday, April 2, 2012

Split & Wonderstruck

I'll be uncharacteristically brief for this posting; like Andrew noted, a lot has been written so far on these books.

To be completely honest, I wasn't completely sold on either of the books although both were good reads. Neither of them, though, really felt like anything "OMG special." I've already toasted books in the first rounds that I liked more than either of these two.

Considering my slavish love for The Invention of Hugo Cabret, I was surprised at how "m'eh" I felt about Wonderstruck. A nice little story, to be sure, but there wasn't that same propulsive narrative or sense of magic in Wonderstruck. It's probably not fair to compare the two, but, well, it was sort of inevitable on my part.

Split? Well, more than a little depressing. A bit ABC Afterschool Special at times. But I thought the voice of the protagonist was authentic and compelling, and more than a few of the scenes and situations in the novel had me flipping the pages as quickly as I could. To be honest, and I don't wish this too often, I wish the book was another 50 pages or so longer, to fully flesh out some of the secondary stock characters a little better and to more smoothly transition between some of the more abrupt narrative jumps.

Still, engaging enough that I grudgingly send Split off to the next round! Will Jenni make this unanimous?

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