Saturday, January 9, 2010

Definitely More

The first book I read in 2010 was Total Oblivion, More or Less by Alan DeNiro. After reading his story in Interfictions 2, I was looking forward to reading his debut novel and I was not disappointed.

It is a cracked coming-of-age story, where a Minnesota family travels down the Mississippi River in hopes of finding some semblance of a normal life after technology has failed and the Scythians have invaded. Sixteen year-old Macy and her family have to deal with plague, death, and the dissolution of the family unit. Life is very different (one of her brothers ends up being a talking dog) and yet life it the same - how do you deal with your family whom you love but who also frustrate you to no end?

The structure of the book is also interesting. The chapters tell the story from Macy's viewpoint but after each chapter is a small section that gives us the history of the Palmer family or bits of information about the weird new normal in America. One of those sections even tells of the death of one of the characters via a trial transcript. It actually is effective.

After reading this, I think I need to go back and pick up DeNiro's short story collection. He has become a writer on my automatic-read list.

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