Tuesday, December 16, 2008

reading challenge #7

It feels like I haven't had a thorough reading post in a long time. I'm rusty and therefore I may be quite wordy. We'll see.

Miriam Toews is quickly becoming a favourite author of mine, and I have the Canadian Reading Challenge to thank for that. The Flying Troutmans was another enjoyable, intriguing novel and I devoured it. I find that I enjoy Toews' characters most of all - they are quirky and eccentric, yet I always find them realistic and wonderfully self-aware. I almost can't decide which Troutman family member is my favourite, they are all so captivating. On one hand I love Thebes, the 11 year old daughter addicted to her blue terry cloth outfit and able to make larger-than-life novelty cheques with the craft supplies stashed in her knapsack, but I also admire Hattie, the wandering aunt who takes her niece and nephew on a crazy road trip, unconditionally accepting their questionable habits (Thebes lack of bathing for example). The novel's road trip rivels the best of road trips, complete with fascinating small town detours and brief, but memorable characters (I mean, Adam and his casseroles? Perfect!). My heart travelled with the Troutmans through the entire novel, and I just don't know who to pass this book onto next - I think everyone will love it.

And for the first official knitting comparison of the 2nd Canadian Reading Challenge: I think this novel reminds me most of a hat I knit last winter after being inspired by this Flickr photo. Essentially a quirky baby photo led the way, and the hat was easy and quick to knit. Like Thebes, I wanted to be resourceful and use up wool scraps which meant the hat became quite eccentric in colour and the doubling up of purled rows was new to me and created a really fun texture. And to appeal to my inner child, I added a rather large and floppy pom-pom. There was a unique joy to finishing and wearing a hat in a single weekend, and it was somewhat akin to finishing this novel. Both were completely satisfying and made me appreciate youth and colour all over again. Thank you Ms. Toews.


John Mutford said... [Reply to comment]

I'm always reluctant to read "quirky" characters. When an author pulls it off, I find them fun to read about. Too often though I find them forced and unbelievable.

Speaking of hats, did you get a chance to send the "prize touque" yet, or would you rather hang on to it and I'll simply mail you the winners address in July?

(btw, my word verification is "Palin"-- creepy)

Wanda said... [Reply to comment]

This is the third review I've read for The Flying Troutmans and though one wasn't as favourable as yours, all three make the book sound very interesting. I'm looking forward to reading this one!

Loved the knitting comparison, adds a unique touch to a book review! :)