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THE MANIFESTO! Top 10 EASY Ways to Stimulate Creativity & Increase Joy
RULE # 4: READ!!!
I love navigating the tightrope, that delicious edge that seesaws between escape and the more realistic journey back to my most authentic self.
When I started this blog I used to post my reviews here, but more recently, I've begun posting them on Goodreads. My latest review:
This is definitely 4.5 stars. I can't quite bring myself to rank it alongside Marquez or Murakami, but damn it's a fine novel. And, if I were ranking on its ability to make me laugh out loud and cringe simultaneously, there it ranks at 5 stars, no contest.
“Do you remember that asshole from high school? The one who strutted tall in the halls, walking with a such a wide swagger you’d think he had a dick the size of a Volkswagen between his thighs?”
(from Andrew Wilmot's review)
Meet Gordon Rankin Jr., aka Rank, the refreshing protagonist, self-loathing misfit and hockey enforcer (goon) who tries to resist the roles thrust upon him by society's stereotypes of appearance and class. We all recognize in Rank the antagonists of our youth, and many of us recognize in his nemesis, Adam, that same antagonists of our university years. I believe fewer readers recognize or resonate with the specific roles thrust upon Rank due to the combination of undesirable class & the kind of atypical appearance that begs pigeonholing. I am one of those readers.
Coady's epistolary novel fuses comedy and pathos seamlessly.
Premise: Rank has just read a novel written by his old university pal, Adam, and he's infuriated to find himself further pigeonholed and misrepresented as “a dangerously unbalanced thug with an innate criminality”. The entire novel is one long rant (via email) from Rank to Adam.
I loved this book. The writing is deliciously sarcastic.
I’ll admit, as some reviewers pointed out, that the book sagged in the middle. However, just when I started feeling a little dragged down, two of the best scenes pulled me back in—the Heraclitus scene that ends with Wade asking, “Is it the same foot?” and the scene explaining how Catholicism soaks into your skin like vitamin D—both of these scenes had me laughing so hard, my cat stared at me in disbelief.
My feeling is that readers will either love this novel or they won't connect with Rank at all.
I can't imagine anyone not recognizing the skill of a masterful storyteller and writer in Coady.