This book by fellow blogger Alex Raphael caught my eye, and I bought a Kindle copy recently. It is hard to think of it as a novel though, as at just 41 pages, it felt more like reading an elongated short story. In many respects, it also felt like the introduction to a much longer book, and could perhaps still serve as that in the future. But don’t concern yourself with the length of this book, instead consider the freshness of the idea, the clever execution, fluid writing style, and interesting characters.
Because this has all of those, betraying an underlying talent for the modern-day fairy tale that makes for a simply delightful read.
Kurt is typical of so many young men in the twenty-first century. Consumed by his passion for video games, and hanging out with his friends, he fails to notice that the best thing in his life, his girlfriend, is being sidelined into obscurity by his behaviour. One day, she has reached the end of her tether, and leaves him. Of course he is shocked, and divises a plan to win her back.
That plan is the strength of this book. It is a great idea, and easily pictured by the reader. Knowing that Wuthering Heights is her favourite book, Kurt takes himself off to the train station in the town, and sits on a chair, reading the novel aloud. Placards nearby tell everyone why he is doing this, and that he will continue to do it every day, until he gets her back, or she comes to tell him it is really over.
I loved that, perhaps because it is also one of my favourite books, but mainly because as a plot device, it just works so well. Kurt interacts with the growing crowd who have become interested in his actions, attracts the attention of the Press, and keeps reading the book, extracts of which appear in the text. I am not going to even suggest the outcome, or it would spoil the ending. But I read this in one sitting, and wanted more when it finished.
Here are some links to buy a copy, or find out more. Amazon US and UK sites are both there.
And here is a link to Alexander’s blog.