Sunday, March 16, 2014

Pivot by L.C. Barlow

Here's a list of five (5) things about this book that'll turn some folks off:

1) It's written in first person. (I'm not sure why this is such a turn-off for a lot of folks, but it is.)
2) The action flips back and forth in time throughout the narrative.
3) The narrator/protagonist commits numerous horrendous acts.
4) This book is filled with intimate accounts of extreme violence (some involving animals and children).
5) You will find some typos in this book. (More on this later.)

If you like literary horror, and none of the above 'issues' are deal-breakers for you, then I'd highly recommend picking this book up.

I found this immediately engaging. The writing is so smooth. It's idiosyncratic, too, but it did not in any way come off as cutesy or forced. It all seemed quite natural, in fact. And that's a hard thing to accomplish.

At the risk of going overboard on the praise here, I'd say that I was reminded of both Murakami and LaValle while I was reading this thing. Now, I'm not saying that Barlow is the equal of either of these writers, nor am I saying that she's actively trying to emulate either of them. I'm just saying that there was some ineffable quality about the writing that's common among them. Hell, I don't know what it is, but I like it when I read it.

But what about those typos? Yes, there are typos. Not a ton of typos. But they are there. The book needed another round of proofreading. This is true. And the book overall is far from perfect. There is a glaring flaw late in the book that I found maddening, wherein a scene recounted earlier is told again, nearly word for word. I understood why the scene was revisited. It was important to do so, but it could have been condensed, should have been condensed, and wasn't.

Yes, yes, this book has some flaws, but, as with so many beautiful things in life, it's very easy to look past them.

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