Thursday, March 6, 2008

Book Review: Zoli by Colum McCann

Heaven knows why this wasn't the most popular book of 2006. It is positively delicious and everyone should read it!! It is a great saga of a Gypsy woman (it seems the word Gypsy is or can be offensive and the more politically correct way to refer to them is Roma). It's a lifestyle that has always interested me. For many years I've had "Bury Me Standing" on my To Be Read list, and Colum McCann says in the postscript that he was inspired to write this novel from that one.

When I went to get this cover image off Powells website, it was one of their staff picks. The staff member who picked it said:

Open Zoli to just about any page and you'll find a passage worth reading two or three times. The prose is gorgeous, the story remarkable — characters practically leap out from the bindings. McCann's novel reminded me why I read fiction: to be transported, completely and without hesitation, into the lives of strangers. It belongs on a shelf alongside Michael Ondaatje's best work.

Yeah, ok, I agree with all that. You should read this book. On another note, some people on the Amazon reviews didn't like it because they couldn't figure out who was narrating each time there was a new section. I agree, it does take a page or two to figure out who the voice of the narrator is when he starts a new section. Ok, maybe that's a drawback, but once I knew that, it didn't bother me as much. The only other criticism that I found, and that I partially agree with, is that the book doesn't give enough background -- it assumes you know something about Roma history. Well, I don't, and I still loved the book. Maybe now I'll read "Bury Me Standing" and get more of the background.


jay are said...

oh, yay! a great book waiting to be read.

Booklogged said...

I've enjoyed reading through your most recent reviews and have added several more books to my TBR list. Thanks, Lisa.