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  • By Gemstone Books Publishing
    Sep 17, 2011
    REVIEW of Sweet Sally Ann BookSurge Editor's Choice Reviewed by Jeff Schwaner, BookSurge SWEET SALLY ANN is a wonderworks combination of tall tale, murder mystery, dysfunctional families and magic beasts lumbering just at the edge of our vision. The story and the language is a joy. The book has, in the beginning, a quality of stepping into the unknown from a place that is already not quite familiar, similar to reading King’s Talisman books; yet the language is obviously of a higher order (as if King had been reading Rushdie and maybe even some George Saunders); and the careful way that information is distributed throughout the plot, like breadcrumbs, lets the reader experience first the surprise of the unknown—why are the school windows rattling yet nobody seems worried?—then bit by bit receive the information that helps them understand. Stylistically, the novel is a wonderful affair, and the quality of the writing is inclusive even when the reflection it casts now and again seems... More > oblique or more of a refraction. That’s part of the magic of the thing. Certain insistent repetitions of phrase make the reader more aware of language and the power of language. The characters are very well drawn out, realistic and archetypal at the same time, and although on occasion the children speak like characters in a Greek tragedy, the effect contributes to the overall tone and adds a touch of the fairy tale to the whole thing. Just when you think you have the plot nailed, a new element slips in but doesn’t detract from the overall motion of the story. Fleeting glimpses of Cody’s Monster—not the beast at the bridge, but the monster of meaning—float in almost inconsequentially. The pills Cody is taking, how they echo the colors of those in the ribbons of Sally Ann’s hair, help impress upon the reader the same disorientation that Cody feels when meaning seems to be making itself known, “if meaning there is.” This is a strange story, the kind that, after you finish it, you still carry the book around for another week or so, as if a new chapter might pop up if you just give it the chance, and you can start reading again. It’s one of those books where if you shake it a certain way the ending might change, or some additional insight might clatter out of its pages, like a toy from a Cracker Jack’s box. All in all, Sweet Sally Ann is a very satisfactory reading experience, outdoing the blurbs on its book jacket for insight and amazement.< Less
  • By Roger Memmott
    Oct 15, 2009
    "REVIEW - Sweet Sally Ann" REVIEW of Sweet Sally Ann Jeff Schwaner BookSurge Sweet Sally Ann is a wonderworks combination of tall tale, murder mystery, dysfunctional families and magic beasts lumbering just at the edge of our vision. The story and the language is a joy. The book has, in the beginning, a quality of stepping into the unknown from a place that is already not quite familiar, similar to reading King’s Talisman books; yet the language is obviously of a higher order (as if King had been reading Rushdie and maybe even some George Saunders); and the careful way that information is distributed throughout the plot, like breadcrumbs, lets the reader experience first the surprise of the unknown: Why are the school windows rattling yet nobody seems worried? Then bit by bit he or she receives the information that helps them understand. Stylistically, the novel is a wonderful affair, and the quality of the writing is inclusive even when the reflection it casts now and... More > again seems oblique or more of a refraction. That’s part of the magic of the thing. Certain insistent repetitions of phrase make the reader more aware of language and the power of language. The characters are very well drawn out, realistic and archetypal at the same time, and although on occasion the children speak like characters in a Greek tragedy, the effect contributes to the overall tone and adds a touch of the fairy tale to the whole thing. Just when you think you have the plot nailed, a new element slips in but doesn’t detract from the overall motion of the story. Fleeting glimpses of Cody’s Monster — not the beast at the bridge, but the monster of meaning — float in almost inconsequentially. The pills Cody is taking, how they echo the colors of those in the ribbons of Sally Ann’s hair, help impress upon the reader the same disorientation that Cody feels when meaning seems to be making itself known, “if meaning there is.” This is a strange story, the kind that, after you finish it, you still carry the book around for another week or so, as if a new chapter might pop up if you just give it the chance, and you can start reading again. It’s one of those books where if you shake it a certain way the ending might change, or some additional insight might clatter out of its pages, like a toy from a Cracker Jack’s box. All in all, Sweet Sally Ann is a very satisfactory reading experience, outdoing the blurbs on its book jacket for insight and amazement.< Less
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Product Details

ISBN
9781411622500
Edition
Limited Edition
Publisher
Gemstone Books
Published
July 24, 2011
Language
English
Pages
347
Binding
Perfect-bound Paperback
Interior Ink
Black & white
Weight
1.28 lbs.
Dimensions (inches)
6 wide x 9 tall
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