Well, for starters, the narrator dies a chapter or two into the book (I know LOVELY BONES and AFTERLIFE, but the book is not that at all), the main character is mute (his own choice is not to speak) for much of the story. So, how does the story get told? Leave that to Crutcher, a master storyteller, and one of the characters who appears in this novel novel (double intended). What does the book grapple with?
Well, that's not an easy question either. Some folks will say this book is all about censorship and the fight for intellectual freedom. Others will talk about its examination of death and loss. Still others might notice the discussion about what makes for a good book or a good teacher. It touches on conflict and the nature of disagreement and how polarizing people never accomplishes anything.
I know I take all of that from the book and so much more. Read SLEDDING HILL and then email Crutcher and ask him to write a sequel called WARREN PEECE (you'll get it later after you have read this book). But do run out and read this book as soon as it is available. You will not regret missing a meal.