Thursday, October 29, 2015

Audiobook Review: The Accident Season

Title: The Accident Season
Author: Moïra Fowley-Doyle
Narrator: Colby Minfie
Genre: Magical Realism

A Quick Introduction: October is the Accident Season, and every year Kara's whole family brace for the cuts, the bruises, the broken bones, and the tragedies as everything that can go wrong does.

Out of Ten: 7/10

Review at a Glance: A surreal, intense novel full of real-world trauma under a veneer of magic.

Review: I can, objectively, say that it is a good book. Objectively the writing is artful, the story progresses well. But I can't honestly say that I really enjoyed it, per say. I don't know how to talk about this book without spoiling it.

I listened to this as an audiobook. Its really quite well done, the narrator carries the story quite skillfully. Colby Minfie doesn't overdramatise, while still making it interesting to listen to. The novel is set in Ireland, and the narrator is Irish, so that worked, (unfortunately, this isn't the case with all audiobooks, so I've learned not to take it for granted).

This is not the kind of book with an action plot. This is barely the kind of book that really has a plot, or, at least, not a notable, overarching one. In that way it feels like realistic fiction, which, in a lot of way, it is. A lot of what the characters deal with is very much traumatic, real-world stuff. There's just the one magical element (hence, you know, the "magical realism" genre). Those real world issues made it an intense listening experience for me, and meant that I couldn't really enjoy it so much as appreciate the storytelling. 

The characters are all interesting... there's something about them that does feel almost unreal, but, in this novel, it seems like more of an intended effect than a flaw in writing. These are all characters who've handled things that have happened to them in a slightly strange way that makes them a little strange, and they do all tend to wear masks and keep secrets. While, objectively, I get that there are good reasons for this, there's something about them that's slightly off-putting to me. The nature of the characters also contributes to the slightly surreal nature of the overall experience. The writing itself is rather lovely. It meanders, filling in the world as the story goes on. 

Basically, while I can tell that this is a good book- well written, well planned- it really isn't a Kelly book. There was something about it that didn't quite hit the notes that I look for as a reader. While I could appreciate it, I didn't like it.

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