Sunday, October 2, 2011

Blog Tour: Touch and Go

by:  Thad Nodine
published by:  Unbridled Books
publish date:  September 27, 2011

To escape an addiction, a young blind man in California steps into a station wagon with his friends and their foster kids to deliver a handmade casket to a dying grandfather in Florida. As they battle their way across the southern half of the nation, this rag-tag American family falls prey to love and lies, greed and violence, crime and Katrina. With a voice reminiscent of John Irving, Nodine produces a classic road-picture novel that is part Travels with Charley, part As I Lay Dying, and part On The Road. Touch and Go is a rich and rangy story about the careful and careless ways we treat each other,and ourselves, in a fast-paced, changing world. Kevin, the novel s blind narrator, is one of the most perceptive figures in recent fiction. And his desire to do no harm is contagious. Through Kevin's rich senses and boundless compassion, Nodine gives us a multicultural portrait of a true America. And he does so with deep affection for everyone along the way.

This was a very unique book since it's told by a blind narrator.  It makes for an interesting way of getting the visual aspects of the setting across.   His was an interesting perspective to read the story from.   As I'm sitting her thinking about it, I wonder how different the story would have been if the tale had been told from Devon or Patrick's viewpoint.

I liked this book, but I found the first 3/4 of it to be kind of meandering and not particularly exciting.  The last couple of chapters of the book more than made up for it and left the book in a major cliff hanger.  The the Publisher's Weekly review (at the bottom) said that it makes you want a sequel, but I don't.  I like it ending with questions. 
I came away with mixed feelings about most of the characters in this book.  The one that I consistently didn't like was Isa.  I think she was very manipulative and acted crazy on purpose to get the people around her to do what she wanted.  I wanted to despise Patrick and all his get rich quick schemes, but I really had a hard time and especially once I learned all his secrets. 

One particular issue that I want to commend the author about his dealing with hurricane Katrina.  I was a little wary about approaching that issue.  I'm from South Louisiana so it's always a touchy subject.  He handled it in a realistic way without getting political which I really appreciated.

It also got a Publisher's Weekly starred review
"Nodine's cinematic novel deserves to be hailed as one of the year's finest fiction debuts.  In addition to creating a memorable cast of characters . . . Nodine treats readers to a realistic portrayal of multi-cultural America. . . . An extended denouement and a last-minute plot twist will leave readers hoping that Nodine will pen a sequel." — Publishers Weekly, Starred

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