Friday, October 12, 2012
The Town That Forgot How to Breathe by Kenneth J. Harvey
Synopsis From Back Cover:
Something strange is happening in the seaside town of Bareneed. Mythical creatures are being pulled from the sea, perfectly preserved corpses of long-lost villagers are washing up on the shore, and resident of the town are suddenly overcome by a mysterious illness that is making them forget how to breathe.
This was one of those books I picked up when our second Borders location was closing, something I still can't believe ever happened. I was perusing the fiction aisles and since I couldn't see the cover, it was the title that jumped out at me. Once I pulled it off the shelf, I no longer cared what the book would even be about, I was in love with the cover. I really wish this picture could do it justice, but it doesn't even come close. There are so many details done in a glossy black that just shimmers and captures the eye. The best part is something you couldn't even begin to experience through the picture, the images and title all have this wonderful texture to them. I love to run my hands over the cover, spine, and back. This is why I can't do ebooks, I would be missing out on this wonderful tactile joy. You can feel each splash of water, you can see the light play over the splashes, highlighting some, then others as the light changes. You can't get that from a electronic screen, so you can keep your ebooks, I'll stick the real deal.
Maybe you have guessed by know that my focus on the cover is my subtle way to avoid what's inside the cover. It's actually something I've been avoiding for a while now, I actually started this post a week and a half ago. It's not the I hated the book, that would be better than what I'm feeling. In reality, I'm pretty damn neutral on it. I'm so neutral, I have nothing to say, zip, zero, zilch. At this point in time, I would be hard pressed to name even one character, without cheating.
I can remember enjoying the story for the most part, especially in the beginning. People stop breathing, not because they can't, but because they don't remember how. Mermaids, krakens, fairies, and ghosts are starting to appear all over town, and bodies that have been in the sea for decades (or longer) are washing up on shore as if they just fell in. It's once the author tried to tie in a message that I sort of lost track of where I was or what was going on. I get human advancements, especially electricity or radio waves have probably interfered with our environment in ways I can't even begin to imagine, I'm just not sure this was quite the right avenue to explore those concepts. Now I know the book was supposed to deal with life and death, our ties to the past and the world we live in, and I think there was even a hint or two about how we should treat each other. That all got lost for me in this strange hodgepodge of genres, themes, and realities.
I know for a fact, and I could even name of few of them, that some of my fellow bloggers would love this book. They would be able to get lost in the story, be terrified by some of the happenings, and maybe even learn a lesson or two. I'm just not one of them. So for now, I'll be happy running my fingers over the cover, getting lost in the texture and beauty that resides on the surface.