Last week I read:
I just started:
I added this book to my to-read list after seeing several positive reviews from friends on Goodreads. Yes, I’m one of those people who
stalks hangs out on Goodreads checking out what other people are reading and recommending. If you want to be one of those people, add me! I’m (mostly) friendly. You can find me here.
Anyways, I added this books thanks to my Goodreads friends, and that’s why I recognized it when I saw it in the used book bin at my local bookstore. Silent Scream is yet another debut book by a British author, (what can I say, I think I’m hooked), and is the first installment of an intended series featuring D.I. Kim Stone.
I had a hard time in the beginning. I think I was five pages in when I logged in to Goodreads to double check that this was a recommended book with good rating and reviews. (Yes, if we’re friends, I’ll trust you that much!) And it was. So I kept reading. I’m very glad I did.
D.I. Kim Stone is a very likable character (seems like it’s been forever since I encountered one of those). The plot was well paced and planned, with a nice bonus at the end. And whatever it was that bothered me in the beginning dropped away at some point, leaving me quite happily immersed in the story.
Will you like it? As far as British mystery thrillers go, this is a nice mid-range option; not too cozy, but not as brutal as Mo Hayder. Disturbing, but not in too much detail. It may have the sniffles, but it’s not completely sick. Think early Patricia Cornwell – a nice, meaty murder mystery. Five stars.
I initially had some reservations about reading this book. I had heard a lot of hype about it, both good and bad, and it seemed like most people who read it focused on judging the decisions made by the subject, Chris McCandless. It’s definitely tempting. An educated young man from an affluent family decides to live as a bum, ultimately ending up in the wilds of Alaska where he dies, seemingly from his own recklessness, when he could have opted for one of the many opportunities at his disposal instead and had a bright and successful future.
Well, there are no guarantees in life. McCandless could have died just as easily while crossing the street. He could have seized the more conventional opportunities that life presented him with and ended up living a miserable, if lucrative, life. Who’s to say which is a better choice for someone else to make? So as I read this book, (with the exception of noting that the book is well researched, and the author seems passionate about getting the facts straight), I considered it a work of fiction, thereby freeing myself from making judgements about McCandless and worrying that my comments would in any way be construed as condoning his behavior.
Jon Krakauer has an easy writing style that holds the attention. He tells the tale of a young man who seeks a deeper meaning which can only come from within. In order to achieve the level of introspection needed to accomplish this, the young man leaves his family and hits the road, learning to live in solitude, off the land, and in extreme conditions. The man enjoys the company of others and is by no means a recluse, but seems to feel that the answers he seeks can only be discovered when stripped of company and comforts. It is by no means a new tale, as narratives abound in which man turns to nature to answer the questions that burn within his soul, but it is a retelling that I enjoyed very much.