So Much Stuff I Can't Recall

Friday, September 15, 2006

Got Squat?

Due to a number of reasons, each less interesting than the first, I missed out on getting a review copy of Taylor Fields' novel, Squat. Usually, I'd have read the book and fired off a few questions to the author, then posted them here as a "Book Chat." No book means no reading, and asking a bunch of ill-informed questions isn't my style. (I'll-considered, yes; but I like to at least be well-informed before throwing caution, tact, and good taste to the wind.)

So, about the book. It's the story of Squid, a homeless twenty-year-old with obsessive-compulsive disorder "who, by God’s mercy, finds the treasure of himself among the inner city ruins." The first chapter was made available through the Fiction In Rather Short Takes network (that link's down right now, so here's my friend Linda's posting) earlier this month. Better yet, Chapter Two is available through the Squat website. I felt Chapter One had numerous rough spots (would an urban boy without a religious upbringing think of Joseph's coat of many colors as a "coat" rather than a robe or a shirt or maybe even a poncho?), but things flow more smoothly -- smoothlier? -- in Chapter Two.

Would I like the whole book? I'm not sure. Katy Popa has a great interview about the novel with Kevin Barbieux, an off-and-on homeless Nashvillian who blogs as The Homeless Guy. Based on Mr. Barbieux's comments, and my first impression of Chapter One, I have my doubts. But I read Chapter Two after reading the opening chapter and Katy's interview and found myself getting sucked into Squid's world despite my skepticism.

So it's a toss-up. Not the rousing praise that'll get my name and review blurbed on Mr. Fields' next novel, but that's where I am on this one. I'd probably give it a shot, but if it disappointed I suspect I wouldn't feel bad about putting it down and moving on to greener pastures.

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1 Snarky Remarks:

Count me in the disappointed column. It had some interesting aspects but was flat for the most part.
Anonymous Kevin Holtsberry, at 7:19 PM  

Get snarky