Friday, November 5, 2010

The Unnameables

by Ellen Booraem

Dedication: "For Rob, who gave me the Goatman and the courage to write about him"

First paragraph: "It is an orderly island. Anyone can see that, even from a distance."

Review: As a baby, Medford Runyuin was orphaned and washed ashore an island with strange beliefs. He was taken in by a Carver and taught the ways of the island. His life was not always easy but he tried to fit in and ignore the taunting comments from others about his useless name. There were the Carvers, the Weavers, the Bakers, the Tanners. Everything on this island was named for its purpose. Anything useless, destroyed and cast off. But what to do with someone like Medford, Someone who had a skill deemed unnameable? Things take an even more interesting turn when a goatman turns up on the island, helping medford to uncover secrets some people would prefer stay hidden.

I really enjoyed this book. It wasn't intense or suspenseful but it was entertaining. The characters in it lacked depth but they were still interesting enough to keep you reading. I wish Booraem would have delved into Prudy's story a bit more but this was a story about Medford so I can understand why that didn't happen.

There was one thing that sort of drove me a little crazy while reading. I can't complain about it too much though because it has to do with the story. On this island, there is a book that teaches them all the things they need to know. It uses weird wordage to describe things and people refer to this wording as "Book Speak". When people are thinking in normal words and then speaking in this Book Speak it gets sort of annoying and hard to follow. Eventually my brain just accepted it for what it was and I stopped noticing it as much, but it was really annoying at first.

Finally, I loved that the story was so hard to figure out. That is, you can't really guess what will happen next because the thinking on this island is so obscure and odd from normal every day thinking. This kept you turning the page. Kept you trying to figure out what the people were thinking when they made their decisions.

Final opinion: Read this book. It should keep you pretty entertained.

Click here for Ellen Booraem's website for The Unnameables.

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