Welcome to the place where I rant, rave and discuss books, writing, the town of Cobourg Ontario and anything else that strikes my fancy.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

The Great Lenore, by JM Tohline

The Great Lenore by JM Tohline

I don’t do typical book reviews. There is always a story attached to them, because honestly, it’s been my experience that internal and external factors weigh into any appreciation of art.

With that said, I read JM Tohline’s The Great Lenore as my first e-book ever on my Kobo. I downloaded it months ago on my home computer, but found reading a book on my home computer just wasn’t for me. For Christmas I got the Kobo Vox (that’s the Canadian version of the Kindle Fire). I was anxious to finally be able to get into The Great Lenore , and I started over from the beginning.

What a ride! First, I will admit I had a hard time following some of the story and had to flip back a few pages to figure out where I was. Whether this is because A) It was in a new format for me, B) I was going through some health issues or C) it really just wasn’t written as easy-to-follow, I’m really not sure. But at this point, I’m giving Tohline’s skills the benefit of the doubt and blaming the lack of focus on a mixture of the two first points I mentioned.

The writing is beautiful. The tempo is beautiful. I don’t want to call it poetic because poetry often needs to be dissected to be understood. The Great Lenore is beautifully written and in its own way poetic without being ostentatious. I think that’s the best way to describe it.

The opening line traps you in.. Without knowing what the book was about, (and for a while, had me thinking it was a ghost story) it gave me the sense of excitement and a secret. It lied to me without lying, as do a lot of the suggestions throughout the book which keeps the flow of suspense constant without being in-your-face.

This novel is beauty. Beauty in writing. Beauty in the world. Beauty in the beautiful and in the ugly parts of the human experience.

On a different note, as I closed the book last night and was about to drift off to sleep, I thought about Lenore. There’s just something about Lenore. Which made me think of the movie “There’s something about Mary”. Then I compared the two and came to the conclusion that JM Tohline’s Lenore, is the equivalent of a much more sophisticated and elegant version of the cult film’s Mary. There’s just something about her that makes you want to keep on tracking her story.

I recommend you give it read, especially as a winter novel.

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