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Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The Grasshopper King

The Grasshopper King, by David Stanley, is the tale of young Cosmas who was shipped off to a Catholic orphanage at age 5 by his family.  His mother disappeared the year before, unable to handle the pressures of her life, and his father is a drunk.  Cosmas leaves behind his brother and his loving grandmother.  On Christmas of his fourth year in the orphanage, Cosmas is allowed to visit home for the holiday.  Instead of spending with his aunt and uncle as instructed, he stays with his father on a houseboat with his sketchy friends.  Life lessons are learned and hearts are broken.

Overall this was a quick read and it was quite enjoyable for my Memorial Day weekend.  Stanley really loves his adjectives and super flowery descriptions of every detail he writes.  There are certainly times where this overshadows his story and occasionally lent itself to a lack of action overall.  The passages are beautiful but there were many times that I sat wondering if there was going to be a major plot point.  The book is really split up into three sections of Cosmas's life: his early childhood, his visit to his father's, and a later episode in his life before leaving the orphanage; these three periods of Cosmas's world comprise a narrative that follows a young man's journey in becoming who he is.

This book is great for a beautiful, lazy day out in the sun with a cold beverage and nowhere to go.  Sit back and enjoy the descriptive narrative with no strings attached.

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