Thursday, 27 August 2009

Finding The Moon In Sugar

In this tragicomedy, Gint Aras' hapless and marijuana-dazed narrator, Andrew Nowak, is seduced by a bomb-shell internet bride. The mysterious and wealthy Audra soon consumes the twenty year-old boy's imagination, a welcome distraction from his needy mother and sister. Wild and hilarious adventures await Andy in Lithuania when he sells his possessions to follow Audra abroad. But he soon finds himself trapped penniless in her world of illness, regret and sex. Stumbling backwards into a romance he never sees coming, Andy must deal with Audra's narcissism and grapple to understand her, a struggle that might just destroy him.

Gint Aras's book, Finding the Moon in Sugar, is so very nearly good. Its narrator, Andrew Nowak, speaks with a clear and original voice and reveals far more about his background and attitudes through his own misconceptions than is given on the page. The slangy, almost dialect-like writing style is easy to slip into; and the story moves forward at a pretty good pace.

It's let down by wooden and unconvincing characterisation (especially in the female characters), a few completely unbelievable scenes, and some jarring inconsistencies which throw the whole text out of focus. The sex scenes in particular are badly written and consequently lose the impact they should have; the writing style is inconsistent; and there are a few examples of exposition which really intrude. There were several instances where the characters accepted odd behaviour without question, or just didn't seem surprised when extraordinary things happened; and the text was littered with clich├ęs. I read eighteen pages before giving up.

I would like to see this book edited thoroughly to get rid of all of those inconsistencies (why abbreviate "because" to "cauze" throughout, but abbreviate no other similar words?); the characterisation needs to be significantly improved; and that sex-scene on page five has to be completely rewritten and given a proper build-up because as it is, it’s excruciatingly embarrassing. A shame, as this writer shows real promise and I had hoped for so much more.


Marian said...

Intriguing title. That alone might make me pick the book up, so it's a pity about the characterization and other problems.

Jane Smith said...

Marian, this one came close: it's definitely one of the better books I've looked at here. But it's still not there yet, and you're right: it is a pity.