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Saturday, January 31, 2009

As a Friend by Forrest Gander

Posted by Irish in Challenge1 Comment

Publisher: New Directions
Publication Year: 2008
ISBN: 0811217450
Format: Paperback
Pages: 192
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
As a Friend by Forrest Gander is a short little novella that is told in four parts and from four different points of view. There isn’t much that I can say about the plot because anything I do say may give the entire thing away. This was an intertesting book that I picked up on a whim during a recent library visit. I didn’t know anything about it and the back didn’t say much….though since it weighs in at under 200 pages that is understandable…so I brought it home with the ‘hey, why not?’ attitude. The opening section is one that is graphic enough to make people turn off having children. If you don’t want your kids to have sex…show this that snippet….a young girl giving birth and lets just say it wasn’t pretty.

From there the time frame jumps several years and the next section, told by Clay, took up the bulk of the novel. This section was a bit disjointed. The narrative which jump from scene to scene without much in the way of continuality. It was a bit jarring at times and slow in others. I found myself struggling to care about Clay and the story that he was telling. The third section was told by Sarah and flowed much better than Clay’s. I really wish that this was the section that took up the most of the book. The final section moves on to Les and has more of that disjointed quality. But that was to be expected because the subtitle of the section gives you the clue of what is to come. Overall this wasn’t a bad book but I don’t know if I’m gonna rush out and look for other books by this author anytime soon.

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