Published by Random House
I received this book from the publisher as I am participating in a TLC tour for Finny. This concludes the obligatory FTC disclosure.
So today I’m a tour stop for Finny. And I usually take my duties as a tour host semi-seriously (because full on serious is pretty hard for me to pull off). But I realized a typical “this is what the book is about and this is what I thought of it” post just wasn’t going to happen in this case. You’ll see why in a minute.
This is a quirky little book, and you all know I’m all about the quirk. The characters are odd (mostly in a good way) and totally realistic, and slightly odd (and once again, still realistic) things happen (spice scene, I’m looking at you).
I liked Finny. I really did. And I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking there’s going to be a but.
And you’re right, there’s a but. But it’s all on me. You see, Earl (the major guy character) reminded me just a bit of Owen Meany, the LOUD little dude from A Prayer for Owen Meany, which turned out to be a pretty torturous read for me. I’m not even sure where the mental image of Owen came from. Maybe it’s because Earl was first described as short. And because I wasn’t really crazy about either Owen or Earl (as people, which is different from liking them as a character, which is a whole ‘nother discussion). I mean yeah, I liked them sometimes, but there were also times when I wanted to grab them by the shoulders and shake them. So what ended up happening was I kept hearing poor Earl’s lines being shouted at me in my head just like I visualized (or is it audiolized?) Owen Meany sounding. And yes, I realize I sound crazy. I promise I don’t normally hear voices. But Owen is pretty hard to ignore.
Anyhoosie, John Irving is beloved by many people, so maybe this Owen comparison isn’t a bad thing?
Do you ever have a book remind you of another book in a totally off the wall way? And then you struggle to block that image from your mind to no avail? Or am I all alone here?
Gawd, I hope the author doesn’t read this. But if he does? Mr. Kramon, I swear I liked your book. Great characters (despite my little Earl as Owen issue), great story progression (I like how we follow Finny through adolescence and early adulthood), and I think you’ve got a fun, yet slightly twisted, sense of humor. Next time though, I’d appreciate it if you could not remind me of Owen Meany. Thanks. Oh, and please don’t forward this to Mr. Irving. Thanks again.
What’s that you say? You want to know what the book’s about? Well, if you go read the TLC page for Finny, you’ll find a much more rational explanation of the book. And you can find out who else has been talking about the book (again, much more rationally than me).