Saturday, 24 January 2015

The Storied Life Of A.J. Fikry.

Have to mention this amazing book I just finished by the authoress Gabrielle Zevin; The Storied Life Of A.J.Fikry. Simply a joy. A slim but perfectly formed novel where the main protagonist is a Bookseller! Yes, a Bookseller, the noblest yet most misunderstood of vocations. A champion of literature and all that is good in this world who may be slight of frame but who bears the burdens of Atlas. A widowed bookseller rises from the rubble of a shattered life to re-engage with the world, in order to raise a little girl abandoned in his failing book store. It is Silas Marner by way of As Good As It Gets( for anyone requiring a sound bite to identify the genre and content). Yet it is not prissy or tawdry ,sad but not tragic and it is also very very funny.
For instance the main character struggles to grasp the meaning or worth of so many aspects of the current cultural zeitgeist. At one point he attempts to impress a loved one with his knowledge of her hot telly show True Blood;GIVING JASON STACKHOUSE VAMPIRE BLOOD IS LIKE GIVING HO HOS TO A DIABETIC.Boom! A sexy Ryan Kwanten reference!Another character in the novel has a cat called Puddleglum(The Marsh Wiggle from Narnia Tom Baker played on television.Boom!A Genius tom Baker reference!) These are only two tiny wee aspects of a book that reference my own shallow passions but there is so much more than them between its rewarding covers.
                     It is a book set on an island where the local, and only, bookshop represents the head, heart and soul of a community. A notion not difficult at all to embrace. A community without a bookstore is a home without a soul.
                     A joyous read.
                     A one sitting read.
                     A book to be shared.
                     Which is what I am trying to do here.
                     And while I am at it here is a picture of Ryan Kwanten from the television series True Blood.