Sunday, January 10, 2010

Book Review By Laura: The Ghost Sea by Ferenc Máté


I bet most of you are like, huh? Well, I found this book for $6 at Nepenthe and loved the idea about reading of adventure on the high seas, since I live right by one. Billed as "Mystical...like The Heart of Darkness. Will take you into a lost world." And, it did. But, I didn't love it. What I did love was the distinctive voice and point of view of the narrative. Very nautical, full of rich Kwakiutl history steeped in their language and customs with a little Italian thrown in. You'd think I'd be thrilled. Where did the book not meet my expectations? Plot. And some flat characters. Needed a little more passion in the characters in my opinion and a little less passion for the particular details of sailing a ketch. I enjoyed this book because it pulled me into a world I didn’t know much about and also had a few twists and turns I didn’t expect. It’s the first book I read where the characters all die and the reader continues to follow them in their afterlife in the end [and the end doesn’t go on forever]. The ending was very provocative. If you'd like to read more about Ghost Sea, you can check out my review here.

Favorite Quote of the book: OK, I had a hard time picking just one. The book had some very poetic moments:

“The strait blew a gale right in our teeth, blew the words we uttered right back down our throats.”

“Are there fences on the sea?” he asked. “Or borders among the stars?”

2 comments:

Damyanti said...

Interesting book...where the characters carry on after death...why not?

Interesting challenge you have going on here.

Laura Elliott said...

Yes, while that aspect was provocative and very different than, say, "Lovely Bones" where the protag is dead and retelling her story. It surprised, for sure. And I know endings are "supposed to be" surprising and inevitable. But while this ending met both "requirements" it sort of took the wind out of the plot to the point where parts of the quest no longer made sense. That aside, it was fun being transported to a whole new world and thinking of the characters in the afterlife. Even if, at least for me THE WORLD'S SLOWEST READER, the nautical terms slowed me down.

And you are right...why not? I'd love to know if anyone could recommend another title where most of the characters die and continue their story in the afterlife. I'm sure there are classics like that that I've never read and since I was captivated by the idea, would love to read a similar story.

Thanks for reading. I don't write many reviews, so I have a lot to learn:)