A while back, I received a review copy of The Four-Day Weekend, by Serdar Yegulalp (sixteenbynine on LJ). I’ll be honest, I was a little nervous about this one, as the quality of self-published novels can vary so widely, but this turned out to be an enjoyable read.
I’ve been trying to figure out how best to describe this book. It feels like a literary novel, one which attempts to capture and recreate the very best of the convention scene (an anime convention, in this case). Henry, our protagonist, has just broken up with his girlfriend of four years. With his friend Winthrop, who’s discovered that owning a comic book store isn’t as thrilling as he once thought, they decide to get away to the big convention. That’s where they meet Diane…
It’s very much a character study. Henry and Winthrop and Diane are all dissatisfied with their lives, feeling lost and burnt out. We get a very gradual, low-key romance growing between Henry and Diane, but mostly it’s the story about how each character rediscovers him or herself … while surrounded by tens of thousands of fans all crammed together. It’s a story about rediscovery and rebirth and renewal.
If you’re looking for a plot-oriented book, this isn’t the one for you. But I enjoyed it. It’s more a conversational sort of book, with musings about everything from relationships to priorities to electronic piracy. The convention felt a bit idealized to me, but I think it also gets a lot of the love and energy of the con scene, and captures what people want to get from a con — even if it doesn’t always happen in real life.
The very end felt a little off from the rest. I get the feeling Yegulalp wanted to provide some closure to certain things, but it reminded me of the epilogue Rowling does at the end of Harry Potter — slightly forced, and out of synch with the rest of the story.
Overall though, it was a nice read, one you can preview here if you’re so inclined.
Other recent book arrivals include:
Wild Things [Amazon | B&N | Mysterious Galaxy], by Charlie Finlay. Short fiction from Finlay — woo hoo! Except for the part where I get to walk away feeling like an utter hack by comparison, of course 🙂
The Demon Trapper’s Daughter [Amazon | B&N | Mysterious Galaxy], a forthcoming YA novel from Jana Oliver. This one came complete with swag, including a Demon Trapper patch, which was something I hadn’t seen before.
Dead Waters [Amazon | B&N | Mysterious Galaxy], the newest title from Anton Strout. This review copy showed up addressed to “Jim Hines: AUTHOR OFFERING PIMPAGE,” which amused me greatly. It’s very Anton, and I’m looking forward to the book.
An Artificial Night [Amazon | B&N | Mysterious Galaxy], by Seanan McGuire. The third Toby Daye book, and my current read. (So far, so good. Fun writing, high stakes, very much in line with the previous two books. Only nitpick is that I wish Toby had caught the “Moon” clue sooner.)
Well of Sorrows [Amazon | B&N | Mysterious Galaxy], by Benjamin Tate. (Tate is an open pseudonym for my friend Joshua Palmatier.) The cover art for the trade paperback release wasn’t the greatest, but I like the redone cover they have for the forthcoming mass market. You can see the new cover here.
That’s just a sampling from the TBR shelf. Basically, I want to take a month off of everything and just hide out in my bedroom reading books!