Thursday, November 16, 2006

Review - Scoop: The Best Book of 2006

Yeah, the title is meant to get your attention! I'm continuing the blog tour on Scoop today, because I enjoyed the book so much. I want it to get its full due. If you are looking for a synopsis, yesterday's post on it has the plot line for you. Today, I not only want to review it, but dissect it a little to look at some good writing.

This book delighted me in several ways. The blurb on the cover from Kristin Billerbeck mentioned the book making her "laugh out loud". I can testify to the fact that this book is FUNNY. As a medical professional, watching Hugo Talley's inner debate whether his Blue Pill was the right one for him, or if the Purple Pill would be better, was hilarious. It is a perfect example of how Rene can capture the absurdity of a situation, whether it be the preoccupation with physical perfection, how Christians have a hard time figuring out how to be "real", or plain ol' romance. When Ray the reporter is wondering how to turn an offer of prayer into a pickup line, the book is priceless.

The main character is Hayden Hazard, but after the first chapter, you wouldn't know it by the point of view (POV) in the book. Except the first and last chapter, the book is written through another character's POV. We only see Hayden when they encounter her, and we only get her external actions and speech. I thought it was very well handled how she portrayed Hayden, and had her drive the story, without having her the POV character. Many books take a break from the main POV for a chapter or so hear and there, which can serve to give a different view of the protagonist. But I've never seen this technique. Hayden moves through the Channel 7 News universe appearing as a secondary character, but always manages to turn the events as needed. We see Hayden's true humility, servanthood, and conviction, without thinking she's a fanatic (despite other characters' thoughts to the contrary). I think a high compliment is this: Hayden is someone I'd love to meet in real life. How many books can we say that about a character?

The writing is also very tight throughout the book. I didn't notice unnecessary scenes or dialogue. It seemed that everything added up in the end. The plot isn't the stand-out aspect of the book in my opinion. It is an entertaining one, and keeps the reader moving toward the climax in anticipation. However, I enjoyed the journey with the characters so much, I didn't really worry about what was happening in the plot. Don't get me wrong - this isn't a bad thing! It speaks of the great characterization in the book.

These are the major reasons why I enjoyed the book so much. Like I said yesterday, Scoop is the best book I've read so far this year. I eagerly anticipate the next book in the Occupational Hazards series. My next post for the Scoop tour will be an interview with Rene Gutteridge, so check back!

1 comment:

  1. Hi !

    I just joined CFBA.

    I am considering a response to the recent book by atheist Sam Harris (Letter to a Christian Nation), and would really appreciate hearing your ideas on the topic.

    Check out my post today on that on my blog !

    Thanks !