Thursday, September 25, 2008

Booking Through Thursday - That Was Different

What was the most unusual book you ever read? Either because the book itself was completely from out in left field somewhere, or was a genre you never read, or was the only book available on a long flight… whatever? What (not counting school textbooks, though literature read for classes counts) was furthest outside your usual comfort zone/familiar territory?

And, did you like it? Did it stretch your boundaries? Did you shut it with a shudder the instant you were done? Did it make you think? Have nightmares? Kick off a new obsession?
I once read one in a Latin American Literature class that was so weird I had to reread it three times just to begin to understand it. Only after I realized that everyone in the book was dead, did it make a teeny bit of sense. I have long since forgotten the title, and no, I did not like it.

Years ago, I read The Novelist by Angela Hunt--an amazing read, and one of my all-time favorites! It's a story-within-a-story. (I must admit, I'm always intrigued by that. For that reason, Hamlet's play-within-a-play is one of my favorite Shakespearian plays.)

The frame story is that of a successful novelist, with a young, headstrong son, who teaches a class on writing and is confronted by one of her students who challenges her to write from her heart rather than use her standard formula. She meets the challenge by writing an allegory which is the story within. Jordan is the protagonist.
From Publishers Weekly:
As she writes, her desire to change her 21-year-old son Zachary's chaotic life as a suicidal addict becomes an impetus for a story she wants to communicate about life, loss and second chances (told alongside mother and son's actual plight). God, she believes, is the ultimate writer, complete with an outline for one's life story—yet even the characters in the hands of a novelist have choices. Jordan's reality and fiction alternate and finally converge as Hunt spins her tale, with flashbacks to Zachary's innocent childhood that are guaranteed to wring tears from even the hardest-hearted reader.
As the stories unfold, parallels are drawn between real and fantasy. The twists and turns kept me reading long past tired, watery eyes. I still reflect on it. This is one I would recommend to any reader!

Check out the BOOK GIVEAWAY! I'm giving away a copy of Shoot the Moon by Billie Letts.

25 comments:

Jennifer said...

That sounds interesting. I'm always intrigued by stories that are about books/reading/writing. I don't usually like stories-within-stories though - I'd rather find out what's going on in the main plot. =)

Melody said...

Sounds like a good read. I love books with story-within-a-story!

violetcrush said...

Never read this book. Looks different

Yvonne said...

I've never read the book, but it sounds like a good one.

Marie said...

Sounds awesome! :-) I'm going to go add it to my Bookmooch wishlist!

PopinFresh said...

Oooh! You were right, this does sound like a book I'd want to read.

~ Popin

Meghan said...

Any book that takes three tries to barely understand what's going on wouldn't be one of my favorites, either!

Callista said...

That book definitely does sound different! My BTT is up too.

Amy(The Sleepy Reader) said...

I have read one or two by Angela Hunt and liked them. I may check this one out.

Kanadani said...

I haven't read anything by Angela Hunt, but this sounds good. I'll have to check it out!

Alyce said...

I've been wanting to read some of Angela Hunt's books, but I've been too busy. They're on my list though!

Debbie said...

This one does sound really interesting. I like the story within a story too.

Brie said...

This sounds like something I would enjoy reading.

Matt said...

Love book with twist and turn. This is interesting since it's a story within a story.

"Confuzzled" Shannon said...

I have only recently been able to understand Shakespear and i usually have to read over things a couple times but even the first I time around I do seem to get the gist of what's going on.

"Confuzzled" Shannon said...

I have only recently been able to understand Shakespear and i usually have to read over things a couple times but even the first I time around I do seem to get the gist of what's going on.

Shooting Stars Mag said...

Wow, this does sound like a good book. Definitely seems like something I should look into sometime...if only i didn't have so many books to read! lol

-Lauren

Maree said...

Sounds good. I love unputdownable reads :)

simpleletters said...

I've looked at it a couple times, but have yet to open it up. Perhaps I will...

Charli and me said...

I have never read that book either but it does sound interesting. I will add it to my list of books to read.

mangomissives said...

The Novelist sounds intriguing. It sounds like it might be a good discussion book for a book club.

Tina Kubala said...

I love books about writers. Added to to my Shelfari. The plan to read list gets longer and longer.

Traci said...

The Novelist sounds really interesting.

Book Dads said...

Sounds like something I might like.

Wanda said...

Sally, your different good sounds waaaay better than my different bad! Your mention of "The Novelist" has earned it a spot on my TBR list.