Rocklin, CA, United States | Member Since 2004
Awhile ago, I decided to spent a few Audible credits, and knew for sure one of the books I wanted to buy -- I couldn't quite remember the title, but it had something to do with fireflies, and was written by P. T. Deutermann, who's thrillers I've loved. So -- I found the book, bought it, downloaded it, and then a few days ago clicked on it to listen.
It started out a little odd, but as the minutes ticked away, the whole thing seemed a little strange -- this wasn't anything at all like Deutermann's previous books -- I was enjoying it, but this was very different from what I'd been expecting. Only then did I check to see who the author was -- had I made a mistake? Indeed I had: this wasn't Deutermann's "The Firefly", this was "Chasing Fireflies" by an author I'd never heard of.
Well? Good mistake! By that time I was hooked.
"Chasing Fireflies" is a thoroughly enjoyable book, one I probably never would have set out to buy but which I enjoyed enormously. Wow, these southerners can tell stories! From Faulkner to Flannery O'Connor to Pat Conroy to Grisham to those southern writers who weren't quite as prolific -- Margaret Mitchell, Harper Lee, Katheryn Stockett, John Berendt, on and on, The one thing they all have in common is consummate storytelling. These are not, for the most part, white-knuckle books, where danger, tension or fearsome acts of derring-do reign supreme. These are books about life, about the strange and wonderful world in which amazing things happen to regular, ordinary people -- or so these authors would have us believe. Listening to Charles Martin's tale of two "lost" boys, I couldn't help but marvel at how little was happening -- and how much I couldn't bear for the book to end. There are momentous moments -- of course. But played down to the point that they become the stuff of every day -- which makes them all the more interesting.
I really loved this book. Narrator Andrew Peterson -- apparently not the same man as the author of the Nathan McBride books, which are also very good -- is perfect for the voice of the young journalist who tells the story. Parts of the book are very sad, other parts very funny, but nowhere does Martin veer away from just recounting the story as it happened. Nowhere does he feel the need to prove his writerly abilities, of which he appears to be abundantly blessed. "Chasing Fireflies" comes across as a simple tale, which has to be one of the very hardest things for a writer to do -- and one in which southern writers, in particular, seem to excel.
I highly recommend "Chasing Fireflies" -- as for me, my next purchase of a Charles Martin book won't be by mistake. I'll be seeking them out.
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