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A great romp, with some depth to it
am 6. März 2000
This is a great romp. King has an almost Wodehousian sense of comic coincidence, but with a subtler and rarer touch. Although it is a hilarious book, the discovery of yet another connection between the novel's converging story lines is just as likely to elicit an 'ah ha' as a belly laugh. It's funny, but humor is applied with some depth.
King pokes fun at his characters and their foibles, but he always does it with a certain sense of reverance. "Tomorrow, he would begin to floss." he says of one character when at the age of 40 he decides to finally do something meaningful with his life. It takes courage in a post modern, politically correct world, but maybe laughing with someone about their own cultural baggage is a sincere and accessible form of respect.
I have to point out that from a Christian perspective, parts of the book could be viewed as sacrilegious. Although they are the heroes of the book, perhaps some aboriginal Americans would also consider his reworking of mythological stories as being inappropriate--I cannot say. I choose instead to interpret this in cultural instead of religious terms. One of the major themes of the book is the oppressiveness of western cultural imperialism and its affect on the remaining indigenous population. Its hard to do that without taking a poke or two at the religion that has so frequently been used as an excuse for non-religious cultural and economic activities.
King is insightful and droll--no gender, race, or occupation is completely safe from his biting wit and sense of the absurd. A review on the book cover describes his similarity to Twain, and I think the comparison is apt. Like Twain, the dialogue is snappy, colloquial and believable. The story is funny, engrossing and challenging. I think Twain would have liked it and recommended it. I do too.