Monday, May 9, 2011

Book Review: The Way He Lived by Emily Wing Smith

The Way He Lived by Emily Wing Smith
Publisher: Flux
Publication date: November 2008
ISBN: 9780738714042
Source: Library

The Way He Lived

Joel Espen died in a scouting accident.  His life is revealed one bit at a time through the eyes of those he left behind.  The attitude he had toward other people and the influence he had on everyone is only measured in the way people remember him.  His family, his friends, his neighbors, everyone remembers him in their own way.  Is that who he really was?

Things I Liked:
I had a mixed reaction to this book.  On the one hand, it really makes you think and wonder how much you can learn about a person through the eyes of others.  The book is unique and intriguing in the slow revelation of our main character.  I liked that.  I also really loved all the connections between the characters.  Each one seemed so separate from the others, but they would interact and we would see those little connections revealed as well.  It is also very well written and will have you thinking for days afterward.

Things I Didn't Like:
On the other hand, I felt like I never got a grip on anyone, not even Joel.  With the changing narration, I just never felt a connection to any of them.  Some characters felt more real to me than others, but none really grabbed me.  At least one of the viewpoints was told from someone with what I thought was a pretty tenuous relationship with Joel and I sort of lost interest at that point.  Definitely a mixed reaction for me, but worth a read for anyone with any kind of interest.

Uh...nothing comes to mind

s-factor: !@
a few

mrg-factor: X
a little bit here and there, pretty mild

v-factor: ->
not violent really, but some difficult situations

Overall rating: ***

I can't think of a single read-alike for this - any suggestions?

If you buy through my Amazon linkage, I will get a very small percentage

1 comment :

  1. It's hard to REALLY like a book if you can't connect with at least one character. Sorry.


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