After reading The Pickup, I needed some light reading so I wandered to Tempe O’Kun’s Sixes Wild Manifest Destiny from SofaWolf. Night and day difference. This novella is set in the wild west in a fantasy world inhabited by anthropomorphic people. The sheriff is a gun toting fruitbat; the outlaw is an ornery rabbit; the doctor is a fox. You get the idea.
O’Kun does an excellent job with dialect and colorful idioms and uses them liberally in his story. Perhaps too much, as a reader I could not just slip in and flow with the story. I kept being tossed out by an out phrase here or there and had to stop reading to figure out what it meant. The main characters have some depth to them, but the secondary characters were pretty thin. Not to say I did not enjoy the story, but the talent is there to do a little bit more.
I do recommend this story to adults ( NOT FOR UNDER 18) who like anthromorphic fantasy romance. This story is a blend of Wild Wild West meets Zootopia. Sixes Wild Manifest Destiny leaves you hungry for the continuing adventures of Sixes and her “lawbat”.
Earlier I said I would be expanding my reading to include some of the award winning works that are about. I just finished reading The Pickup by the late Nadine Gordimer of South Africa. She won the 1991 Nobel Prize in Literature and I can see why. . This book I did not inhale like a cold Coke on a hot summer day but rather chewed on it slowly like an exotic dish savoring its texture, aroma, and flavors.
Nadine Gordimer wrote a story very rich with the minutiae of life like the beads of sweat rolling off the cold beer sitting on the dirty bar table, but she overlooks other facts like what is the name of her main character for many pages. Her writing style is unique, almost like having a narrator telling you what is happening. The structure of the sentences is more complex than commonly seen in American literature, which is refreshing.
The Pickup is about a well to do but naive South African caucasian woman who sees something special in a soft-spoken illegal immigrant Arab grease monkey. Reluctantly they fall in love, face the dread of all young couples of meeting the family, then move away to face the troubles of the adult world. The novel ends before their story does, the reader is left to wonder “what will happen next?”
The Pickup looks at friends and family, laws and justice, being the insider and being the outsider, religion’s role in life, and the hope for a better tomorrow cause the grass is always greener …. away from the desert.
I recommend The Pickup for someone who wants a book to savor.At its heart, the novel is a romance told by a sociologist, not too mushy and full of realism and social awareness. Not a light read