Smackdown Books 2017

Arlene's smackdown17 book montage

The Memory of Things
Hour of the Bees
The Gospel Truth
Ultraman, Vol. 1
Ghost
The Bunker Diary
Echo
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
One
Updraft
All American Boys
»

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Okay kids, cutting to the proverbial chase: I vote for The Fault in Our Stars, by John Green to move on to the next round the Smackdown. I'm pretty sure Dia is in love with this book, and I can understand that -- its a touching story; not necessarily a weeping-in-my-chair-touching, as suggested, but a sensitively crafted vignette just the same.  But in truth, 'The Fault' could have won by acclamation because I disqualified Inside Out & Back Again, by Thanhha Lai, due to suspicion of literary larceny.

Is it fair to dismiss a perfectly adequate novel simply because it so closely resembles another?  John Fogerty might think otherwise, but I think so.  Take Ru, by Kim Thuy (first published in French in 2009), the story of a Viet family who settles in Canada upon fleeing strife in their homeland.  Written in an unorthodox format, the novel follows their acclimation to North American mores for which it won a Governor Generals award.  Given that 'Inside Out' was published in 2011, and follows much the same course, in much the same way, can we really accept that Ms. Lai was simply ignorant of the existence of another successful work written about a subject in which, ostensibly, she must be vested?  I think not.

I will freely admit that 'The Fault' is not my favourite Smackdown contender (more of which anon), but it it acquits itself admirably in the company of Ms. Lai's knock-off.

As for a zombie pick, notwithstanding the fact that I haven't even finished reading it, I pick The Raven Boys.

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