Monday, November 08, 2010

Joe Young's NAME

I just reviewed Joe's book at Goodreads:

NameName by Joseph Young

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I did a blurb for the book that said I don't know much about vampires but I know a lot about fiction and I like this book. That was cool, pithy, good job me. Now that I have seen the actual thing I will review it again:

John Dermot Woods's cover art is somehow fitting, even though there aren't actually any bats in the story. The lone figure on the cover looks down with both an angry look and a sad look. One thing about Robert, the "hero," is that he is very clearly lonely. Another thing about him is that he seethes with that inept sort of anger that comes from feeling alienated. Both of these things are captured in his downward gaze, so good job John.

Robert is a difficult character to like. I don't think I like him. I was frustrated by him--and I think one success of the story is that it provokes a visceral response. I kept wanting to tell him to look up, get on with it. The last time I responded like that was watching Fargo for this first time. Robert is the William H Macy of vampires.

The book is an awesome size, about the same as one of those Short Flight/Long Drive books from the Hobart people. The paper is bright white, which works better in these smaller dimensions, and the margins are adequate. Justin Sirois did a great job of taking John's cover art and making it wrap all the way around. The back jacket copy is a microfiction that does a lot not just to encapsulate the book, but in that encapsulation it suggests something about how Joe writes those little gems; it's not reduction or distillation, more like a hearkening.

Also the book is probably more of a love story than a vampire novel.

View all my reviews

1 comment:

Molly Gaudry said...

I'm really liking the small size. It's pocket-sized. I'm thinking of changing our books to that size too.

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