professornana (professornana) wrote,

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Sledding Hill--how good can one book be?

Picked up Crutcher's SLEDDING HILL late yesterday afternoon intending to read just a bit before dinner. Dinner became more of a midnight snack as I got sucked into this book. Could not put it down and probably irritated the living daylights out of my friend who was also trying to read as I kept reading passage and entire chapters aloud. I have dogeared so many pages for future reference that my copy of the ARC looks like TALE OF DESPERAUX. Where do I begin to talk about this incredible book?

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.

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