Friday, March 31, 2006

Alligator - Lisa Moore

The Basics: Alligator, Lisa Moore, 2005, 306 pages, hardcover, Short-listed for the 2005 Giller Prize

How I found it: Browsing through the Giller nominated books on I like to read mostly Canadian fiction so I often read Giller nominated books since they are supposed to be good - and they often are.

What's it about?: Interweaves six narratives of somewhat related characters each having their own little crisis in contemporary St. John's, Newfoundland. The book really rides on the characters and how they develop, with not as much emphasis on plot development. Global issues like environmental activism, the film industry, and immigration ensure that it is not your stereotypical Newfoundland tale.

Did I like it?:
Most definitely. It's true, the plot is a little undeveloped, but it doesn't seem to matter much. I also had trouble relating to the characters and at times since they weren't that likeable (even the ones that are supposed to be). The point of the story, however, is not to make them likeable - it is to show the ugliness in everyone so I suppose that is a normal reaction. I read it in just a few days and really enjoyed her writing style as well.

Will you like it?: Probably. This book is definitely "literature" as opposed to pulp fiction (it's no Dan Brown), which is a good thing. If you require a strong plot, you won't like it. However, if you want a book that makes you think and you want to support a young Canadian female author, this isn't a bad choice.

But don't take my word for it: See these reader reviews and editorial reviews.

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