Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Book Review- Steve Augarde 'The Various'

The one and only advantage I have found with having a useless knee thus far is the opportunity to catch up on all the sedentary hobbies which I have (although I am sure that my waistline will not be thanking me!) The most prominent of these being that I can finally catch up on my reading! I have a pile of un-read book so high that it is threatening to take over my life with associated guilt. (I know, weird, but I feel bad owning these stories and then never giving life to them in my imagination. Just letting them sit there on my shelf untouched feels wrong some how.)

First down in my quest to reduce this pile is ‘The Various’ by Steve Augarde. Now I will freely admit that I brought this book mostly for its beautiful cover. I knew nothing about it except that it had awoken some yearning in me for books with monochromatic line drawing covers, and due to this it became mine. That and I brought it in a charity shop for £2.99 so I could afford it. Always a major plus point in my life!

I could say many good things about this book, least not the readability of it. Now I know I am stuck sitting on my arse all day and I read quickly, but I finished this in about a day and a half. It was really good for that kind of fiction where you tell yourself you will just read to the end of the chapter, and four chapters later your still going!

Without giving too much of the plot away the story is centered around a young girl called Midge and her adventures with ‘The Various’ on her Uncles farm where she is sent to spend the summer by her touring musician mother. Now although I realise I have made to book sound incurably boring and Famous Five like, but it really much much better than the justice I can give it.

Forgive me people I am doped up on painkillers. You have no idea the overtime spell check is working at the moment!

I also have a soft spot for unusual names in fantasy novels and one of what I guess you could call recurring motifs was called Celandine in this book. Which just strikes me as inordinately pretty and helps me develop a rather large soft spot for the book as a whole!

I think my favourite thing about this book is the distinct voices which the characters have. Augarde has distinguished between the different voices of his characters really well, something which I always appreciate in a novel. The one detraction would be the haste with which the book seems to draw to its conclusion. I felt that the last 20 or 30 pages of the book were a little rushed and that the ending was a bit forced, but still. It was good. And due to the power of Google I now know that this is the first in a trilogy and I have two more books to look forward to the next time I manage to get paid! (You know that never ending pile of unread books- this is why!)

A good read for some one whose brain seems to be comprised of dandelion fluff at the moment.

**** Not a classic but I would defiantly recommend it and read the others in the series.

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