4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
An impressive read,
This review is from: The Road to Reckoning (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is a very impressive first novel: after the (for me) slightly awkward opening pages where I felt the author hadn't quite got to grips with the idiom he was trying to create for his first-person narrator, this quickly became a book that was hard to put down. There is a spareness to the narration which perfectly portrays the directness of the central character's personality: self-scrutiny, musing on other character's motivation, extended descriptive passages etc are largely absent, perfectly capturing the non-cerebral (I DON'T mean 'stupid') quality of the child whose story it is and the now adult man who tells it, but also throwing most of the emphasis on plot and narrative.
Anyone who has read True Grit or seen the film (particularly the Coen version) will be reminded of the story: no one could pretend that Lautner's tale is entirely original. I don't think this book has the depth or complexity of characterisation that Portis achieves with such spare means: the best western narratives often present characters who manage to be both individuals and powerful archetypes; 'The Road to Reckoning' doesn't quite achieve, or perhaps even aspire to, that sophistication. But it is a terrific read: a pity it's not published (except in review copy) until after Christmas: I'd be buying quite a few as gifts for friends.