Sunday, August 29, 2010

Book Review 08/29

Outrageous. That is simply one of the more worthy adjectives to sum up this devilishly addicting book. It may be one of the few reads where every other paragraph I find myself chuckling in amazement and shaking my head in revulsion simultaneously.

Seen through the eyes of a child living in one of the most disfunctional families ever known to print, the narrative begins in the realm of a three-year-old's fairytale adventureland. The first section of the book demonstrates Jeanette Walls' most daring accomplishment as an author: seducing the reader through the luster of childlike wonder as it twinkles against the crudely cut pallete of homeless life.

The real punch in flavor comes from the severity of the delusions of her parents. With their precocious philosophies and obsession with their own audacity of being excessively bohemian, the parents are deliciously and disgustingly unpredictable.

In fact, most of the thrill lies in the question that becomes more prominent throughout the book:

Just how disturbed are these parents?

The reader instantly becomes sucked into Walls' mesmerizing grip, her seasoned storytelling fingers pulling and bending our emotions wherever she wants them to go. She is in complete control of every mouth dropping moment committed by the bipolar mother and that egomaniac bastard of a father.

THE GLASS CASTLE becomes an unexpected page turner as the reader grows from curious to desperate in seeing the protagonist's perception to change, to witness Walls mature into the disenchantment of adolescence, and to finally watch her realize just how disturbingly wrong her life actually is. Never have I, as a reader, been so intensely on edge for the character to see what I see.

Few authors have meshed the hilarious with the appalling as seamlessly as Walls does here. THE GLASS CASTLE is ultimately refreshing, jarringly and gleefully so.

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