Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Review: Holes by Louis Sachar

For some reason, the book with this cover was called the "Adult Edition" on Amazon. Dunno why.

Anyway, a bit of back story on how I got to reading this children's book: it was sitting at the table. Yes. I know I didn't put it there. After a bit of asking around, I discovered that they were my brother's books, which struck me as odd, because he's not the type of person to do anything unless it's on a screen (and no, he doesn't have a Kindle). But it turns out it's for class, unlucky him.

I, on the other hand, love books. Right now, I'm going through Kindle in search of any free book that interests me (because I'm cheap. And also because I haven't got any money). Send me some links if you like. I'll take anything. Even terribly written porn (and I'll get to that later).

So I picked it up and read it. It wasn't terribly long (241 pages, it says on Amazon, because I can't be bothered to look in the actual book), and I was also playing a game on my mobile while I was reading (I had a time limit on there, OK?!). And boy, did this story suck me in. I was making all sorts of dumb mistakes on my mobile, and now they'll be forever proven in my stats.

The story of Holes is straight-forward (especially if you've seen the 2003 film with Shia LaBeouf. I was surprised at how faithful it was to the book. Psst! Check it out for yourself; it's on YouTube). Stanley Yelnats is being punished at Camp Green Lake for a crime he did not commit. He must dig holes every day under the hot sun with limited water rations while dealing with the drama of living with young delinquents and adults who dislike him.

Stanley's story is intermingled with some family history (there's an apparent curse on his family), but never once does it feel like an info dump. Both stories are intertwined seamlessly.

The blurb on the back says something about Stanley needing to figure out the truth behind why the campers must dig holes, but they mystery's hardly at the forefront of the reader's mind. A lot of the text is Stanley suffering through the digging, suffering through his tiredness, suffering through the other boys and the adults. It does resurface in the climax though, which is my favorite part of the story.

At one point, Stanley has to trek through the desert. What should usually be dull and tedious to go through turned out very entertaining to read. Louis Sachar describes things wonderfully, and I was surprised at the lack of adverbs for a children's book.

To conclude, it's easy to see why Holes was such a success. I daresay even my brother won't mind reading it.

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