Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Cool Water


I read this book because it won an award, the Governor General's Award in 2010. My challenge this month is to read award winning books, so this one fit the bill. I thought I'd take a stab at something out of my typical genres. It was ok, but, I'm just a bit surprised this book won such a prestigious award. It is a good book, but, I didn't find it outstanding - or in my opinion award-worthy. The actual writing was ok; clear, concise, and beautifully descriptive. But, for me, the story lacked any real movement. I felt like I read an entire book and the characters only took one step forward. Maybe I'm just used to a faster paced tale where in a few hundred pages the characters move thousands, even millions of steps. Maybe the story was deeper than I realized? There seemed to be a lot of references to sand and water, how they constantly shift and change the landscape. Therefore, I'll chalk this up as a good book, but, I'm too ignorant to really appreciate it.
What I did connect with was the setting and landscape in the book. Set in Saskatchewan I can picture the exact locations Warren describes. Having lived there when I was young I recall the trips out to the middle of nowhere, the 'desert', where some of the story takes place. I can picture the tumbleweeds sticking to the barbed wire fences, the sand dunes, and the coulees that seem to be the only place on the plain that grow trees. As for the small town, the cafe, and the main street I picture the TV show Corner Gas.
As for the actual story, I had a hard time connecting with it. A few dysfunctional relationships/people that seem to go nowhere. They just seem to sit there and ponder their situations until something dramatic happens like a sudden death or a runaway child. Even with those extreme situations I didn't find myself getting excited or more interested in the story or characters...I kind of just wanted it to end. Again, I need a bit of action.
Overall, this foray out of my 'comfort' zone did not pay off. Oh well, maybe next time.

Rating: Do Not Read.

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