Thursday, April 3, 2008

The Last of Crooked Tree? (Crooked Tree Part 3)

If you've been following my comments about this book, I will warn you that I may stop today, until I finish the book. Then I'll try to pull things together without giving away too much. So much happened in the pages I read last night and early this morning. The pacing accelerates in the second section of the book as the tension rises, and fear grips more and more people. This section is all about anger - anger of the Native Americans at the lack of respect for nature and the refusal of the younger generation to accept lore as truth, anger in the natural world at the lack of recognition of its significance and power, and human anger caused by the inability to tame what cannot be seen or understood.
Because I know this book is slated to become a movie at some point, I have taken it in differently. I can see scenes play out in my mind, and I can just about imagine the types of music that will be used. Tonal Native American sounds will mix with pulsating drumming as each episode drives to what should be a conclusion - most end in cliffhangers that will come together near the end.
When I read The Night Birds by Thomas Maltman, a similar thing happened. I envisioned where, how and why characters moved as they did.; I heard their voices. The dark/light motif that Tom incorported throughout created a moodiness that permeated the entire storyand strengthened his major themes. That book, too, would make an amazing film. In relating that to Tom, he said that sort of cross sensory imaging is rare. To me, it just seems a by-product of puttering around in theatre as long as I have been. At any rate, rare or makes reading even more enjoyable. I think it slows things down for me however. By the way, if you haven't read The Night Birds, you should. It's out in paper this month and has won numerous awards.
Wilson does a nice job with imagery, and dialogue. I wouldn't say that the the book is brilliantly written, but the he does have some impressive skills. I like his tempo best. The first section moves slowly and rhythmically, changing directions in a predictable pattern. It's a lot like heaviness of bears, lumbering through the forest, moving their heads from side to side as if some internal metronome is at work. As I said before, the second section of the book is more aggressive, and the events are random - like an aggitated bear poised for action.
The end result of all this change is that I can no longer read the book at night; it scares the bejeepers out of me. Even reading early this morning was creepy. As a matter of fact, this morning, a young wife had her hand on the latch leading into the cooler in a funeral home, looking for her husband who had crept down there after hearing noises. She was about to open the door (and, of course, a little dramatic irony plays out here since I knew what she would find) - my phone rang! I'm pretty sure I barked a terrified "Hello" and then tried to explain, but I don't think the caller bought it.
So, I'll be starting a new night time book to replace this one.