So, I finished Spook Country over a month ago but couldn't bring myself to write a review. On the positive side, it helped me get to get to sleep quite quickly and I felt like a speed reader because I could blast through the three page chapters in no time. Overall, though, I have to give it a giant thumbs down/wag of the finger. It was too long and too slow and ultimately terribly unsatisfying. Gibson seemed to be experimenting with narrative and perhaps subverting the reader's expectations, but he needs to further refine this approach. One broasted potato out of five.
I enjoyed Miriam Toews's The Flying Troutmans just as much as I liked her previous books. Her ability to combine humour with the small tragedies of ordinary lives is remarkable and she creates rounded, believable characters. I'm not sure how I feel about the ending - Hattie's decision to go back to Min with Thebes seems naive and the family's desperate need to create and maintain a relationship with Min will, it seems, only cause them further pain. I think Min is far more dangerous to those around her than anyone, except perhaps for Logan, is willing to admit. I suspect that Min was the cause of Logan's scar, which casts her and her role as a parent and caregiver in an entirely different light. Of course, the question of whether Min will be alive when Hattie and Thebes return to Winnipeg remains, and the uncertainty regarding the future lends to the sense of realism in the novel. Overall, a good, thought-provoking read.
1 day ago