Wednesday, October 29, 2008

_Ready, Okay!_ by Adam Cadre

Excellent book of odd characters in high school. The book tells you very clearly up front that a big tragedy is going to happen by the end and lots of people will die, then it goes on to make you care tremendously about these characters. The tension is unbelievable. 

After I saw a post on Metafilter about Adam Cadre's writing, I read one of his stories online (see here) and I requested Ready, Okay! from my local library. I finished it today. 

I think I'm going to put this one on my short list of books to get as gifts. It ought to appeal to anyone. I wouldn't have said the high school setting would have caught me, but the characters and the looming doom did.

There are many surprises along the way. Vonnegut said throw suspense out the window and tell your readers everything; this fellow has done something similar, but he does keep some secrets right up to the end. 

A lot of books about youngsters seem to use the idea of a precocious narrator, but I like it here better than most.  The main character develops some great insights along the way; most importantly, he learns that people aren't usually who they seem to be on the surface. 

Highly recommended.

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