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  • By Charles White
    Apr 29, 2011
    Charlie White, previously unknown to me, contacted me to ask if I'd review his new novel, after the previous effort titled The Dragon at the Edge of the World. I am on record everywhere as believing that self-published does NOT equal bad, or poorly edited (my best example of that is Islands of Instability, still a favorite book of mine). This book further bolsters that conviction. PAY ATTENTION NOW. Your mission, should you choose to follow my strenuous and well-thought-out advice, is to put your prejudices on hold and go to the download page and put this book on your NooKindlEreader for a lousy five bucks. It will repay you several times over the purchase price in the sheer pleasure of reading this Cajun version of Candide, this New World picaresque, this amusing and informative (oops, forget I said that! There's no educational value, none!) and most of all fun trip through the reasons for Acadians becoming Cajuns. Etienne, our Acadian Candide, starts his journey from his Nova... More > Scotian home at the behest of the British, who were then in the process of snatching Canada from the French, who snatched it but with a much lighter, less iron fist from the Native Americans. We meet him working in a shipyard as possibly the least competent carpenter *ever* (hence his nickname and our {needs to be changed} title, "Fatfingers"), working for the nastiest, most bureaucrat-hearted British boss ever, appropriately named Cudgel. Nothing good can come of this...except for us, the readers, as we follow poor Fatfingers from pillar to post and back again, stopping in Charleston, in St. Dominique (aka Haiti), finally, finally to New Orleans, the home Etienne sought and deserves. Followed relentlessly by Cudgel, who really resembles the piece of toilet paper that *will not* release your shoe unless manually, and with wrinkled nose, picked off and tossed away. I didn't choose that metaphor lightly. Please, please don't think I'm puffing a friend! I don't know Charlie White from the Year Forty. But I know he knows how to tell a story, and I know he knows what details bring the past to life, and I know he knows what he's doing in front of a word processor! I strongly suspect my threadies here on LT will know a good book when they read it. Don't let its "bastard" parentage as a self-published book fool you! This is high-quality stuff! Now for the bad news...all self-published authors seem not to have studied the books that major players produce. This one's no exception, with idiosyncratic right-page-only folios and running footers, even on blank pages *shudder*. There is the occasional infelicity of word-choice, but that's nothing against Charlie...I see that in supposedly professionally edited books. There is a bizarrely large amount of white space between lines of dialogue, and very generous margins and gutters are the exception not the rule in self-publishing because they drive page count, therefore cost, up; but the *worst* thing I can think of to say is that Charlie chose the weirdest, the least explicable of all colors for a picaresque trip through the vivid, colorful Francophone Caribbean: Beige. Really! Beige! With black type! Oh no no no! Perish forbid! Please, sir, revisit this decision and change it to blue, or orange, or even *shudder* magenta, but beige...! But folks, the bottom line is: Read this book. It's worth your time and your money. —review by Richard Derus, originally posted on librarything.com< Less
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Product Details

ISBN
9780578057743
Edition
First Edition
Publisher
Good Ink Books
Published
August 9, 2010
Language
English
Pages
363
Binding
Perfect-bound Paperback
Interior Ink
Black & white
Weight
1.34 lbs.
Dimensions (inches)
6 wide x 9 tall
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