Tuesday, 9 September 2008

Holes - Louis Sachar

This was such a great read that I feel I could recommend it to anybody. Children, teenagers, adults, men or women. It’s a very quick read, but unlike some other short novels I read, it left quite a big impression on me. It’s probably because it can’t be categorised into anything I’ve read before and because it was so beautifully crafted. Its theme is unusual and it would be hard to convince someone to read it by simply telling them what it is about:

A clumsy and unlucky boy gets sent to a detention camp by mistake, where everyday, together with other “troubled” boys, he is made to dig a hole in the hard ground. Five feet deep, five feet across. Apparently this exercise is supposed to build their character and make them better boys, but there's something their warden is not telling them…

The truth is this is not just Stanley’s story at Camp Green Lake. It’s about Stanley’s ancestors, and about Stanley’s camp-mates. It’s about the weird connections that life lays ahead of us and how they affect our destiny one way or the other. It’s about lethal lizards and about onions. There’s also a hearth-breaking love story and a gypsy curse. And there’s friendship. Powerful and selfless friendship. That’s all I can say about it. More would spoil the plot, which is far more interesting than it sounds.

What I loved about it was the rewarding feeling that it gave me when all the threads came together in the end. All the different layers and the details in the story became one neat pattern of a jigsaw, which felt so satisfying. I love when the authors know exactly where they’re going and how they’re going to get there, even though it’s intimidating from an aspiring writer’s perspective.
I’m sure I will re-read it one day, which is saying a lot, since I don’t usually reread books.
Besides being a great piece of storytelling, it triggered many emotions. It was humorous, tragic and even heroic at some point. It was pure comfort reading. A book to keep for those reading slump sometimes people fall into. I can guarantee a speedy recovery!

Other blog reviews:
The Hidden side of a leaf
Courtney Rebecca
All Curled Up
In the Tower
Did u write a review of this book too? Let me know and I'll add your link.


Josette said...

I loved this book! It sure is a funny one. Here is my review. :)

mariel said...

I really enjoyed this book. I liked that it offered something quite different to most of the children's books out there. The film is actually quite good too!

Nymeth said...

I keep seeing this one around but I actually didn't know much about it. It really sounds like something I'd enjoy, though. I'll definitely look for it.

Heather J. said...

Thanks for the recommendation - I think I'd enjoy this one, and will probably read it with my son. ;)

Trish said...

I just saw this book at a sale and I think I passed it up. *kicks self in shin* I'll have to go home tonight and dig through my bag to see if maybe I did get it and just can't remember. I'm glad you loved this one--I've heard great things about it elsewhere as well.

valentina said...

Thanks for the link, Josette, it's added;)

Mariel, I must look out for the film someday, cause everyone seem pretty enthusiastic about it, which is not something it happens often for film made out of well-loved books.

Nymeth, you should definitely read it, it's a newbery medal so it basically makes it a must read :P

Heather, I think it's a perfect book to read together with your child, because you can both find it interesting and I'm sure it would make it even more funny.

valentina said...

tut tut Trish :P
Joking, hope you find it somewhere, or keep it in mind for another time, as Josette said,it's a perfect book to curl up with on a rainy day.

courtneyrebecca said...

Thanks for the link! I absolutely loved the book, it was such a pleasure to read, even for the very first time in my twenties. ;)

and you put it exactly right about how it is so rewarding when everything comes together in the end. i was so satisfied when i put it down.

Looking forward to reading more of your reviews!