Thursday, September 13, 2007

The Raw Shark Texts

This was one of those books you see on the outskirts of the media's book coverage. You see it in one place and you think, "That sounds interesting, I've never heard of this book/author."

Then time passes, you forget about it, and someone you know mentions it.

"Oh I saw that one, did you read it? No? Me neither, but doesn't it sound good?"

Then more time passes and eventually you'll see it mentioned somewhere else, again on the fringe. Now you're excited. Two fringy mentions tell you that it isn't mainstream—it's too unique for it to really be embraced by the masses, but it's good enough and intriguing enough for you to have spotted it twice.

So you take a chance.

I went on Amazon for this one and read the first few pages.

The movie Memento immediately comes to mind. I though "Cool." I love anything interesting where memory is played with.

So I read it.

The person who I had discussed it with asked me how it was. I said, "First it's cool, like a Memento, then it takes a turn into very abstract, very metaphysical, then it's like a detective/mystery novel for a while. Later a love story is at its center, a cheesy, cheesy, romance-novelish story. Which was awful. Then it goes back a little to the Memento type stuff for a little while before it just ends on a not-so-satisfying note."

It's on the fringe for a reason. But it's the type of book you have to read because, statistically, it means you'll expose yourself to really great books that aren't touted in the media. Sometimes you have to get through the duds though to find them. I'm glad I did because now I'm reading what could be one of the most well-written books of the year for me, Call Me By Your Name, and it too was a fringy book I took a chance on.

So it's all good.


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