Thursday, February 14, 2013

Pulling Down The Stars by James Laidler

Genre: YA Contemporary Fiction
Publication Date: 1st February 2013
Pages: 376
Book Source: From author for review

Synopsis:  Charlie Lansdowne’s life is going nowhere ... fast. 

Trapped at home with his eccentric father and his stroke-affected grandfather, he finds life a daily exercise in dysfunction as three generations of men strive to get along.  But when Charlie meets the volatile and tempestuous Maxine – a surfer girl who works at the local abattoir – his life goes supernova. Friendships implode, passions ignite and death comes stalking in the night. 

My Thoughts:
I read James Laidler's free verse novel The Taste Of Apple in 2011 and loved it so when James asked if I'd be interested in reading his latest novel I jumped at the chance. Set in the Australian seaside town of Warrnambool, Pulling Down The Stars has a standard narrative with smatterings of song lyrics and poems but there's nothing standard about the poignant and powerful lyrical style I first fell in love with in The Taste Of Apple. 

I liked the fact that Charlie and Max (Maxine) were outside the norm of YA fiction  protagonists; Charlie with a nursing position in a psychiatric ward, living with his father Roger (who's an absolute gem) and his stroke-effected grandfather Frank, and Max, a surfing abattoir worker.

No insta-love for Charlie and Max, (phew) I loved the way their romance developed, like them - a little left-field but relatable and very likeable. Actually James 'does' characterisation brilliantly, you really get a feel for the characters, even the minor players. 

I wanted to keep this short but just have to mention these two things: 
  • I never thought I'd say this but as gag-worthy as I find abbatoirs, I was completely fascinated by the descriptions of the different stations at the Carrington Meats. 
  • For me, the 'thriller' element was a peripheral subplot that neither added nor detracted from the story ... it just ... was.   

Pulling Down The Stars is a beautiful, quirky story revealing love in all its facets and highlighting 'family' can encompass and mean many things. There's just something very addictive about James Laidler's writing, I could seriously read it all day! 


Check out James Laidler's website for more information about this talented Australian author. 




8 comments:

  1. This sounds really good! Will have to check it out!!

    ReplyDelete
  2. This one sounds amazing and one that really gets to a person. I like it when an author lets a relationship really develop!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think you'd really appreciate Jame's writing style Staci :)

      Delete
  3. I'll be adding this one to my 'to-read' list Teddyree, it sounds like something I'm in the mood for.

    Can I admit to something that's probably really embarrassing....I rarely (if ever) these day spick up books written by male authors. In my younger days I was a huge Stephen King and John Grishham reader. .

    I was only thinking recently that I need to get back into reading some male author's works. Might just start with this one

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'll be keen to see what you think Karen. Lucky I loved The Taste of Apple so much, I could have missed out on an awesome author :)

      Delete

Thanks for taking the time to leave some comment love, I'm a 'comment back' kinda girl. Don't forget to check the 'Notify me' box if you'd like a reply.