Tuesday, March 30, 2010
Walking the walk
You know, I'm not all that big on journey books, and books with lots of description. Probably why Robert B. Parker's snappy, dialogue-heavy Spenser and Jesse Stone thrillers get consumed like potato chips as soon as a new one goes on sale. So, it's saying something for me to report that I quite enjoyed Lee Goldberg's The Walk, a definite journey book and one that's pretty heavy on description, too. On that latter point, I admit that you probably couldn't write a book about a huge earthquake without including lots of description of destruction and carnage. In any event, the description is vivid and gripping, which is helpful to us readers of the let's get on with the story persuasion.
Anyway, it's all quite interesting. After the earthquake hits, TV executive Martin Slack begins a long walk home, past endless scenes of the shattered city, to see if his wife Beth is alive. On the way, he meets people, faces challenges, and learns that, just maybe, he's a better, deeper person than his slick studio job has allowed him to be. There's also a clever twist at the end, but one you shouldn't worry too much about trying to predict. It's more of a bonus hey, that's pretty neat development than something that changes everything that went before (though there's a tinge of that, too).
I also liked the occasional flashbacks to Marty and Beth's past, which serve to give us welcome breaks from the devastation and tragedy, as well as deliver some good banter for us dialogue fans. There's decent dialogue in the post-earthquake scenes, too, but I really enjoyed Marty and Beth's sharp, interesting conversations in the flashbacks.
I really shouldn't say much more. Read the book for yourself and let its well-drawn scenes (some scary, some funny, some strangely whimsical, and- yes- many tragic) unfold in a fresh manner as you click away. In the end, I'm really glad that the Kindle has given a new lease on life to Mr. Goldberg's previously hidden-away gem, and I think you'll be, too.
The Walk is available on Kindle for $1.99.