Monday, August 16, 2010

Book Review: An Arsonist's Guide to Writers' Homes in New England

I first heard about An Arsonist's Guide to Writers' Homes in New England when I heard an interview with author, Brock Clarke, on NPR (which, let's be honest, is how so many of my stories start). His book sounded very intriguing, a little dark, but very entertaining.

Basically, Sam has just been released from prison after serving a 10 year sentence for burning down the Emily Dickinson house. Except he didn't do it on purpose, and he didn't mean for anyone to die. He finally makes a life for himself after his release, but then more writers' homes go up in flame. Everyone blames Sam, but it's not him this time.

I enjoyed the book, but you have to read it with a bit of suspended belief. It was definitely written in a distinctive style. The only way I can really describe it is to say that parts reminded me of Catch-22. The characters and the events of the novel are extreme. It left me with an odd feeling at the end; I wasn't quite sure what to think. But on the whole, I was glad I read it and it made me want to go back and read Catch-22 again.

Has anyone else read it? Anyone else hear echoes of Catch-22?

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