If you are an Alexander McCall Smith fan don't expect THE GIRL WHO MARRIED A LION... to be written in the same vein. This is a collection of stories told TO Mr. Smith by African natives. These simplistic stories illustrate basic values. The characters are sometimes animals with human traits or people with animal instincts. Given this, the work is an interesting collection of stories that give insight into both the African storytelling tradition and the origins of Mr. Smith's writing style. The tales are strong on morals and character and weak on plot line and scene development.
Having read Mr. Jenkin's A WALK ACROSS AMERICA years ago, I was interested to try LOOKING FOR ALASKA. His style hasn't changed. LOOKING FOR ALASKA is an easy listen about a raw and breath-taking land. I found the brief audio inserts from his interviews captivating and flavorful. This work is less polished than, say, Bill Bryson's IN A SUNBURNED COUNTRY or A WALK IN THE WOODS but his observations are insightful and honest. His tendency to drift into family storytelling is usually endearing and provides insight as to the origins of his perspective.
Easy to read, part memoir part writer's manual. Honest information from a man who understands what the public wants. You will finish this book knowing more about why we read and why we write.
Well developed characters, intriguing plot line, a book you will think about long after listening. One of my favorites. From the heart.
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