Rainer Maria Rilke

"Live a while in these books, learn from them what seems to you worth learning, but above all love them. This love will be repaid you a thousand and a thousand times, and however your life may turn,-it will, I am certain of it, run through the fabric of your growth as one of the most important threads among all the threads of your experiences, disappointments, and joys."--Rainer Maia Rilke

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Tuesday, August 9, 2011

A Book for Hurricane Season

The Cypress House by Michael Koryta
(Adult Paranormal Thriller)

This book had all the ingredients for one of my favorite types:  one heaping helping of thrilling; a big dose of history and a pinch of paranormal.  Really, with such ingredients, it’s hard not to win. 
There are many things I loved about the book-the historical backdrop of the Key West/Islamorada Hurricane was fascinating!  I haven’t read anything about it before and it had me racing to the computer to do some background research.  I loved the setting.  The South is always one of my favorite locales-the characters are usually a bit crazy and the heavy humidity just oozes out of the page through dialect and description.

Something I didn’t like?  The main character, Arlen.  He was just, well, not a very nice man.  Quite frankly, I wished at several times during the story he would die and someone else would step up to become the new main character.
Arlen has something he’d rather not, the sight, a ‘gift’ of seeing if someone is going to die.  Arlen doesn’t see it as a gift, but rather a curse.  He has spent most of his life trying to ignore it and where has it gotten him?  On a train full of men getting ready to die.  He doesn’t know how or when, but he knows the what.  Arlen talks his friend into stepping off the train and taking their chances.

Unfortunately, they step into a bigger mess than the one they left behind.  The small Florida town is right in the path of the Key West Hurricane of the 1930’s, a local love interest is being bullied by the local police goons and Arlen is stranded.
While the storyline was tight and interesting, I found myself wishing for a bit more paranormal and a bit less normal.  With such a gift as Arlen has, I just felt that the entire story would have been much stronger if this particular part of the book would have been more prevalent to the storyline. 

All in all, though, a good read.

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