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Saturday, 16 May 2009

The Selected Works of T.S. Spivet


There's much hype surrounding this first novel by Reif Larsen, and much of that has to do with the fact that he's young (29); it's his first; and the manuscript sold for nearly a million bucks.
That aside, the format of this book sets it apart from the pack. It's a sort of jungle gym of prose and maps, tangents and editorials filling the margins, encouraging A.D.D.


As with my favorite David Foster Wallace essays, the 'footnotes' eventually come to seem necessary, where at first they completely disagree with my steadfast Taurus nature. It's a travel story and so each page offers a little journey to the eye.

The main character is this 12-year-old cartographer who travels across America from his ranch home in Montana to the Smithsonian Institute in D.C. He does it hobo-style, hopping trains and the like, documenting and mapping everything obsessively as he goes. These maps and charts range from 'train car varieties' to 'Map of North Dakota Showing Ecoregions, Surface Water, and Locations of the Twenty-Six McDonald's.'


As objective and scientific as maps would seem, these ones cumulatively give rise to a more mysterious and emotional tale about their creator.
This one's sure to be a hit so come check it out!

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