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Monday, September 23, 2013

Ostrich: A Novel

This debut novel sounded ridiculously interesting, so I picked it up this week for my train ride. This is Matt Greene's Ostrich.

Alex is writing his story just for you. The only thing is that he is not sure what is going to happen because it's happening right now. He is sick but still wants to be himself. His parents may or may not be in love, and he may or may not be trying to figure out if his father is having an affair like his friend's father. Oh yeah, and then there's Jaws 2, the hamster that has not quite been acting like himself since Alex was in the hospital. This is Alex, and this is his story.

This book is utterly, completely, unapologetically irresistible. I fell in love with this book within the first ten pages because Alex is the liveliest and funniest of characters with the most idiosyncratic storytelling style I have read in quite some time. To read this novel is to fall head over heels for a young man with so much heart and soul, and with enough intellect to whip you into shape.

Greene's writing is positively marvelous; the pathos he has for Alex and the other characters in Alex's life is astounding. This book was written with such love and care, and the embodiment of a young boy who is just so...himself. Too smart for his own good but not enough to outsmart his own body. He is truly a young boy; in love but refusing to admit it, knowing what the truth is about his hamster but refusing to see it, and wanting to find answers where sometimes there just are none. Just so, so lovely.

Kindle copy on left, hard copy on right.

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