Village Books by Craig McLay
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
More like 4.5 stars. I am always worried when I read books told in the First Person because sometimes the voice is not clear & also becomes a bit of a turn off. And sometimes, it takes a while to fall into the story if it's told by a narrator that doesn't have an engaging tone. None of that was the case for me while I read this book. I really liked the narrator & thought he was quite witty. The story was told colorfully & I felt a connection with the characters he related in the telling. I must admit that I've not read too many books where you never learn the narrator's name but it is a refreshing device when done well, as it is here. After the opening, I realized that I didn't know it & kept an eye out for it until the end. I cared about him so much, I still want to know this dude's name! I can only say that I find that a good character portrayal.
The story isn't so much about any one thing than a telling of a time in the narrator's life and what events took place that propelled him to the next stage in life. That happens for all the characters & some locations in the story and it happens in believable ways. I must admit that I worried for a long time how his relationship with Leah would resolve. Dante was great & I was happy for his ending. Sebastian & Aldous made me laugh a lot. Lolita, Mother Teresa & Miroslav had smaller parts but I felt that those were integral to the story & enjoyed them. I completely loved how the brick found in the back of the book shop was brought back into the story & tied to one of the characters & the unexpected twist that led to. Well done!
There were too many highlight worthy, quotable bits in this book and this will definitely be one of the best books I've read in 2012 (I've read more than a few). Don't let its being an indie deter from the opportunity to sit down and read it. I saw two typos but I've seen that many in professionally published works. Everything else is pristine. Especially the prose. I look forward to reading more from McLay.
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