Saturday, March 17, 2012

Book Review: The Guardians

I started this book on Wednesday night and finished it today (Saturday). And I did not stay home from work to read, even though I wanted to. I did, however, stay up late last night reading it, which proved to be a mistake, but I'll get to that.

I read the crap out of this book. I enjoyed the crap out of this book.

It's the story of four hockey-playing guys - Trevor, Randy, Carl and Ben - who were best friends in high school but went their separate ways after graduation. 24 years later, they're back in their hometown to attend Ben's funeral, after he kills himself.

Trevor is our narrator and has just been diagnosed with Parkinson's. As a result of the diagnosis, his doctor has recommended he keep a journal. Trevor decides to start a memory journal, in which he tells us about when the guys were 16 and what happened that winter that changed their lives forever. The memory chapters alternate with Trevor's narration on the present, being back in his hometown, facing his friend's death, the girl he left behind, the events that he can't forget...but may not remember correctly.

And that is part of the beauty of the book, a narrator who has no reason not to be honest, except that he drops those oh-so-subtle hints that he's sure that's how it went because that's how he remembers it or that this is what he remembers, whether it actually happened that way or not. It's a great story, a psychological thriller-cum-ghost story that, when read late on a Friday night, may make the reader hear things that aren't really there or see shadows that may not be from the streetlights. You still trust Trevor, though, and you want to believe him, even when it gets spooky.

It's also almost impossible to put down, which is why I finished it so quickly. But even with a fast-moving plot, the characters are still developed enough to make you care about them and all the characters in the book are there for a reason. It's a well-told story that is ghost story, thriller, buddy reunion and man-in-mid-life-crisis tale all rolled into one.

Best read when you have a few days to enjoy uninterrupted.

No comments: