Friday, May 17, 2013

A "419" you say?

Was that really my 40th?  Talk about time blitzing by at lightning speed.  So much for dwelling on that experience!  I got a new book for my birthday (Inferno!!), so I really needed to finish this current book, 419 by Canadian writer Will Ferguson.  This is a far cry from How to be a Canadian... 

I really had no idea what this book was about - I did know that it won the 2012 Giller.  I also had no idea before getting in to this book what a "419" was.  Now I do.  For me, this was a provocative novel, and I really enjoyed the first half more than the second half.   It was eye opening in the sense that the story shifted between different main characters, physical locations (somewhere in Alberta and then Nigeria), and different chronological sequences.  For me, this was almost a great book.  The central idea was good, but Ferguson almost tried to do too much - in a way I would have been happier if the story unfolded through one person's perspective, or if it was actually longer since some of the story I really enjoyed, and other parts didn't really feel at that connected.  Some of the characters didn't feel fully realized, and I had unanswered questions throughout.  Definitely an interesting read, just not completely satisfying (if that makes any sense at all).

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