Contrary to what I’d imagined, work has not eased up and is still as busy as ever. In my free time I have to choose between reading and writing (for my blog). And since I’m mid-way through Anna Karenina, a book I’m finding very interesting, I tend to prefer reading over writing. But today is a Sunday and I can make time for both reading and reviewing a book.
Holes by Louis Sachar is the intriguing story of Stanley Yelnats. Stanley has been falsely accused of stealing a pair of sneakers and as a punishment has been sent to Camp Green Lake Juvenile Detention Centre. Since his family has had a history of bad luck for generations now, he takes it in stride.
When Stanley gets to Camp Green Lake he finds that it is neither very green nor is there a lake. In fact, there is no water for miles around making it impossible for any of the boys to attempt an escape. The Warden at Camp Green Lake is rather mysterious with strange correctional methods. As punishment, the boys must dig a five-foot wide by five-foot deep hole in the dried-up lake bed every day. According to the Warden, this is to build character. Stanley cannot help but suspect that there must be more to the Warden’s strange punishment.
When I first began reading I had a general feeling that this story had been told before. But it’s been told so well that I couldn’t put it down. The story’s been sketched in quick broad strokes that describe plainly without any of the usual poetry. This style of story-telling added to the description of the heat and arid way of life in Camp Green Lake, and also the lack of vitality Stanley must be experiencing in such a situation. I’m not sure if this is a spoiler, but in case you’re worried you may skip to the next paragraph right now. Alright. Still with me? I may have been fooled at the beginning and believed that I would not, in all likelihood, be surprised or taken unawares by this book. But that was probably the exact reason why suspense snuck up on me, leaving me all the more speechless at the author’s incredible talent.
I enjoyed reading this book very much. I consider it light reading because I was able to complete it in half a day and read Artemis Fowl directly after that. But although it wasn’t heavy reading I still wouldn’t compare it with many of the other books I consider light reading. To compare it with food, Holes is a medium sized snack and extremely satisfying, even if it is for a short while.
If you like books with a magical twist in them, and at the same time believable, this book is perfect. This is also a perfect fix for the book addict cramped for time.