One for Sorrow

10 05 2009

Christopher Barzak - One for Sorrowby Christopher Barzak
ISBN 978-0553384369 (Bantam)
Trade paperback, Sep 2007

At the beginning of the year, I reviewed Christopher Barzak’s second novel “The Love We Share Without Knowing” – a set of tales centered around death, despair and loneliness in contemporary Japan.

This review is about his first novel, “One for Sorrow”, set in a small town in Ohio.

It is a tale about how the death of one teenager (Jamie Marks) affects those around him. The Girl that finds the body, and the boy that felt he could have been more of a friend – Adam McCormick.

It explores the relationships between young adults and their families and community in somewhat rural, small town.

Jamie’s ghost appears and draws Adam into various adventures where it is hard to distinguish reality from dream. So much so that in one adventure I was lost in that dream world with Adam until he began to come out of it.

In between his adventures with Jamie, Adam experiences stress at home. A strict father, domineering brother, and wheel chair bound mother. And to top it all off, there’s the woman who caused his mothers injury, insinuating herself into their family.

Some timelessness about the story. Loss of innocence, etc.
And a happy ending – of sorts!!

Worth a read.

The Love We Share Without Knowing
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The Love We Share Without Knowing

1 01 2009

Barzak - The Love We ShareBy Christopher Barzak

ISBN 978-0553385649 (Bantam)
Trade paperback, Nov. 2008

Ten tales of life in Japan – mainly centered around American and Japanese English language teachers. There is an undercurrent of loneliness, despair, death, and occasional supernatural themes. All the stories link to one-another in some fashion.

realer than you– starts off the collection with a ghost helping a lost American child. the suicide club – a window into why a small group of strangers would participate in group suicide …just a sample of the content.

I liked the smatterings of Japanese speech, that remind you where the stories are set.

Overall, I found his writing style lacking in depth/richness compared to my usual reading (SciFi/Fantasy). Despite that, I liked it. It is his second novel, following the award winning “One for Sorrow” – which I may read later.

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Other Reviews:
SCI FI Weekly –