Thursday, July 14, 2011
The "Borrower" is a Literary Escape in Every Sense, Falling Somewhere Between "From the Mixed-up Files of Basil E. Frankweiler" and "Lolita." "Lolita?" Read On. (Even is June 20)
b. Lolita, by Vladimir Nabokov--In fact, the Penguin website notes that Lucy's name Hull comes between Huck and Humbert, and that her trevails bounce between the extremes of the two other narratives. I had no idea because...I have read neither book. Yes, true confession. How can I own a bookstore? I cheated on the BAT*. Lucy would understand.
d. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, by Roald Dahl--Several Dahl books are referenced several times, particularly The BFG, but the legendary chocolate factory that Lucy's dad refers to brings this title to the fore. It's another misunderstand young boy, and Lucy is filling in for Grandpa.
f. Where's Spot?, by Eric Hill--At first I thought the Where's Ian chapter was a reference to Where's Waldo, but the text didn't match.
g. The Wizard of Oz, and sequels, by Frank Baum--Oz is apparently the ideal world for a boy who has trouble fitting in. Not only is there no romance, but there is even at least one case of a character changing genders. Oh, and it's a quest novel, just like this is.
One could keep going, and one should (Charlotte's Web, for example, is referenced below), but the day awaits. Feel free to add any additional titles as comments.
Need more reasons to visit and get your copy signed? Here's the strong Chicago Tribune review from Wendy Smith:
"In her bracingly tough-minded tale of a discontented librarian who hits the road with a maladjusted 10-year-old, Rebecca Makkai tips her hat to a shelf-load of children's literature, offering sly echoes of everything from Charlotte's Web by E.B. White to Where's Spot? By Eric Hill, while crafting her own distinctive sound in a first novel definitely not for kids. Makkai avoids almost all the pitfalls of debut fiction, including sentimentality and undigested autobiography, and though her plotting isn't as deft as her characterizations, the wonderfully nuanced closing pages more than make up for the occasional longueurs that precede them."
Read the rest of the review here.
And hope to see you at our talk/reading with Rebecca Makkai on Wednesday, July 20, pm. For a taste of her talk, read her answers to frequently asked questions.