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Friday, August 29, 2008

Montana 1948


Montana 1948 by Larry Watson
Reason for Reading (listening): Need to entertain myself on commute to work
Rating: 3.5/5

Montana 1948 is a book that I loved. And I hated. It is a coming of age story, told from the perspective of 12-year-old David Hayden. We have both the benefit of David's perspective as both a child and as an old man, as he reflects back and fills in details of the story that he did not completely comprehend as a child.

This book is about the events that happened one summer, to David and his family. Secrets come to the surface that end up permanently altering David's life, and the structure of his family forever.

This book won a number of awards, and deservedly so, for the writing is very descriptive character study. Larry Watson brings to life vivid characters in a relatively short book.

This book had me from the beginning, but as I was listening, as I got towards the last disk, I kept thinking to myself, boy there is a lot to wrap up and not much time left to wrap it up in. How is the writer going to conclude this one?

Well, this gets to the part I didn't like about the book. The ultimate conclusion to the book ticked me off. It felt sloppy. It felt too convenient, and most importantly, it seemed to contradict the wonderful characterizations that had already been established.

Now that is just my take on the ending, and in a google search, none of the other reviewers I saw felt the same way about the ending, so it could just be me. Because this is a great character study, I would still recommend this book. And maybe you'll feel differently about the ending.

Other reviews:
Trish (Hey lady! Whatcha Readin'?)

6 comments:

Debi said...

Great review, Kim! And I love that you just stuck with your gut feelings about the book, despite what others had to say about the book. When something like that happens to me, I always end up questioning myself, which is really stupid...because ultimately no one else can experience a book for me, I have to trust my own experience.

Melody said...

I agree with Debi. :)

Trish said...

I'm not a big fan of books that quickly and conveniently wrap-up at the end. I'm not a writer, so I don't really know, but I would think ending a book would be very difficult! How do you know how much to say and when enough is enough? Speaking of writing--are you going to participate in NaNoWriMo this year?

Kim L said...

debi-so true! Reading is a personal experience, and just because everyone else liked a book doesn't mean you have to.

melody-yes, debi is very wise! :-)

trish-I'm not sure yet. It sounds a little intimidating, but I just might do it.

Andi said...

Ugg, I hate those endings that seem like a big sellout. Or something. Not sure how to describe them. I wish it'd been a better payoff! At least the rest of the book was a winner.

trish said...

Well, I don't agree about the ending, but I do agree it's a great character study. I wish you'd been in my book club meeting when we discussed this...not much discussion happens when everyone loves the book. :-)