When Alexander contacted me and asked me to review River Queens, my first reaction was ‘Uh. But I don’t know anything about boats!’.
No, that’s a lie. My first reaction was ‘Yay, new book!’, the blink-blink omg how am I supposed to review this one when I know, like, zilch about boats? came next.
320 pages and some time later, I’m glad I didn’t let that detail put a damper on my enthusiasm. RQ is a pretty cool memoir 😀
Minimal, black and white layout, I’m a fan. I would have liked to see the two of you tho!
- I’m not just a mere reviewer, I’m also a writer. A very picky one – by now I know every trick of the trade and I can tell from the get go someone with real talent from someone bullshitting their way through. Got it? Got it. So when I say that Alexander’s style is impressing, I’m not just saying. You’ve really got what it takes, crafting an interesting story from the daily life of two men and a dog sailing their way across America (semicit.).
- There’s a good balance between the funny and the sad parts. Alon and Marjorie, Dale’s dad, they made my heart clench, some reminiscences too; others? Oh my God. ‘Palmetto green!’ ‘But you’re gonna want white!’; ‘We’re sinking’ ‘That’s nice’; ‘I’m tempted to applaud [..] but it was getting good!’
- Plus, and I guess this a personal bias, I love Alexander’s temper. Some places, some situations, I would have made the very same remarks he made. This translates very well on paper, tranchant and dry, maybe, but very, very relatable. It’s refreshing, because it seldom happens to me.
- The nautical theme is predominant – of course – but it’s interspersed with glimpses of the life Dale and Alexander lead, both ups and downs. It really seals the deal and makes RQ an enjoyable read. Same with all the people they meet throughout their journey. My favorite? John (and oh man, it feels weird to say something like this knowing I’m talking about a real person, but! I like you, John! *waves*)
- Last but not least, RQ is a window open right into America’s heart. I love it.
- I told you I know nothing about boats? (Yes, like three times already) Sometimes my total wide-eyed rookieness leads me astray, and despite the glossary I’m left wondering what the Betty Jane is really doing in RL. A less technical take would have helped land-anchored people like me understanding things a little better.
This doesn’t belong in either column, but Doris Faye, oh no! I’m so sorry 😦
4,5 stars on GR (rounded up to five), 9 here. Mad respect! I’m already following you on Twitter because it’s not over – I saw the draperies!