Tuesday, October 03, 2006

The Boy Detective Fails by Joe Meno

I often have conversations with students about three things: how do you write about romance in a fresh way, how do you write about violence in a fresh way, and how do you write about coming of age in a fresh way. This novel conveniently answers all three. You put them into a new context, such as what happens when a boy detective grows up.

I was completely charmed. By this:

"Above the dirt of an unmarked grave and beneath the shadow of the abandoned refinery, the children would play their own made-up games: Wild West Accountants! in which they would calculate the loss of a shipment of gold stolen from an imaginary stage coach, or Recently Divorced Scientists! in which they would build a super-collider out of garbage to try and win back their recently lost loves."

and this:

"What happened then was this: The lost part--the silver, misplaced key to his heart, the part of him that seemed to be missing--had been suddenly found. Words were not necessary. The room was still as the boy detective took the magnifying glass in his hand and began to do what he had always been meant to."

and this:

"We would really like to think that you were holding hands with somebody while you read that last part. If not, you might read it again and ask someone to hold your hand right now. You might then write that person's name somewhere here on this page with a heart glowing around it. Why not? It might be fun."

Anything goes, people. Anything goes.

1 comment:

Brian said...

Unrelated to your post, but I wanted you to know that I added you to the blogroll over at Amy's and my place, Incertus. I'll be dropping by more often, especially since I'm woefully underread in contemporary fiction.