By Khaled Talib
This is an article about my upcoming thriller, Gun Kiss, published in Divine Magazine. The novel will be released by Imajin Books in Canada.
So I read this because so many members of the book swapping club I belonged to had requested it and I came across a copy at a thrift store for a dollar so I thought why not?
It was hard for me to get into and to try to relate to this woman. It took til about page 200 for me to kind of get into it which is 2/3's of the book already.
Some parts were hard to read but I think it was because it was chuck full of brutally honest, no apologies feelings and the vivid sometimes gruesome descriptions of her past.
What I will say is that though her writing and what she expresses didn't always agree with me I did appreciate her honesty. I could relate to her wanted to find herself and getting back to herself after what she had been through. Her wanting to find her true self and stick to it. I like to think of myself as someone on the other side of that journey though which is probably why I couldn't really get into the book until she herself felt she had returned to her true self or the true self she felt she should be at that moment in time despite what she went through.
Her strength and acceptance of what will be will be is something I can relate to. In the 90s we were all used to a certain kind of life here in the US and when the economy broke and the wars started up again and the WTC bombings happened as we go to the 2000s things just changed.
I live in another world than she did at her age and everyday feels like I will make it just by sheer will force and determination. I didn't have to go the woods and then come back. There is no escaping this and like her after a while I began to not even mind.
I think maybe that is why the book is popular. So many people have veered off what they thought they should be and want to get back to it, reading her story makes them feel like they could and that things will get better no matter how crappy they seem now.
I probably wouldn't have bothered with this book if it hadn't been for the club but at the very least it made me feel like if I just stick to the path I'm going things will work out and be fine.
I would recommend this book to anyone who has been through a rough time or anyone who wants to read a cool story about a girl who went hiking in the woods by herself with little money, almost no prep, relying on her instinct, wit and the kindness of strangers.
Mungus 16th October 2006 06:32 PM
Talk Talk - T.C. Boyle
I read this novel partly because other books by this author have been recommended on this site and also after having read the blurb on Amazon. It describes the book as a tale of identity theft, false imprisonment and the deaf victim's fight (along with her partner) to clear her name. They 'test the life that they have built together to its limits'.
The book starts at a cracking pace as Dana, the deaf woman, is arrested and imprisoned and her partner fights to find out what is going on. She's released on bail and as the police aren't interested in finding the culprit, they take off. This is where it all slows down and gets a bit implausible. We are introduced to the (male) thief and his lavish lifestyle. They track him down several times thanks to a series of lucky breaks but at no time have any idea what they are going to do when they find him.
Despite this change in tempo and implausibility, the book is well written, the characters are likeable and exploring the relationship between a deaf and hearing partner is interesting. The ending just pulls back from being entirely mawkish and leaves things as tidily as possible without being too cheesy. So, overall, I very much enjoyed this book, but was frustrated that it wasn't quite as good as it so nearly could have been.
Top Cat 17th October 2006 07:40 PM
I would pretty much agree with you there, Mungus. I reviewed this for The Independent a few months ago, and though I liked it, I didn't feel it was quite up to his usual standard (his short stories, however, go from strength to strength).
Mungus 18th October 2006 08:33 PM
I can't get your link or the links that the site's own search throws up to work - do I need to register? (Mutters in frustration once again at the Indie's rubbish web site)
Hazel 19th October 2006 07:45 AM
I have this book on my TBR but I am really not inspired to pick it up at all. Maybe it's the deaf angle, my parents are deaf, so that puts me off. Is it worth hanging on to it - or should I GM it for better reads?
Mungus 19th October 2006 09:18 AM
Now there's a tricky question. It's a quick and easy read so won't take up much of your time, but equally, it won't give you anything that other books couldn't offer with less risk. If there's more chance that the deaf angle will annoy rather than interest you, I'd suggest passing it on.
Hazel 19th October 2006 11:11 AM
Thanks Mungus - I GMed it - if anyone is interested in picking it up
Flingo 20th October 2006 07:52 PM
I just clicked Top Cat's link and it worked for me. I think you used to have to register with The Independent but not any more. Maybe it was down for a bit when you tried.
Mungus 21st October 2006 08:03 PM
Bingo! Cheers, I was just getting the default book review page before.
pollyblue 29th October 2006 02:10 AM
I have read some TC Boyle, Im absolutely crap with titles but I got lost in this one, about hippies that wanted to get a comune together in alaska. I wanted to be there so much and that is what matters to me in a book, that I can imagine myself there and in the moment....
Mungus 29th October 2006 08:56 AM
Wow, it'd have to be a special kind of book that made me want to join a hippie commune in Alaska - anyone else read this one?
Grammath 30th October 2006 05:30 PM
That'd be "Drop City", which is my next audiobook, so I'll report in due course.
tlon7 6th November 2006 03:08 PM
T. C. Boyle - My reaction
I find T.C. Boyle's work all basically one book, written in one voice. It's clever, but all his characters appear to sound the same wan, ironic tone, regardless of their background, education, etc.