Thursday, 27 April 2017

Book Review: The end of vandalism - T. Drury

This book has been published in the mid 90s, then forgotten, then lately it has been brought to the public's attention once more, both in UK and Italy, as the "last forgotten work of art".
I love the vintage cover and I was attracted by the plot, a simple story about some people in a fictional farmland county in the Midwest of the USA. A bit like Haruf's trilogy again, I thought, and this is too the first volume of three.

The novel started nicely in my view, straightforward and concise, nothing really happens but it is just pleasant to read about the characters and what they do and think.
The main characters, the sheriff, Tiny and Louise. are weird, to put it bluntly, they are very self centered, they seem a bit uni emotional and it is  really hard to get attached to any of them, they seem to lack that roundness that makes me like fictional people.
From the middle of the novel onwards I really struggled to get going, I found the writing so slow and boring and it goes on and on for ages about really small things, without having that poetic je ne sais quoi that made Haru'f novels simple life so enjoyable.

I have to admit I did not even finish the book, I had enough past three quarters of it.In summary I found it overrated, no content, no pearls of wisdom, no emotional involvement, nothing.
And I really do not understand how it can be defined one of the best novels of the last 50 years. But of course de gustibus and everything... Sorry Mr Drury but I won't read the rest of the trilogy.

Overall rating: 4   Plot: 4  Writing style: 5    Cover: 8

Title:The end of vandalism
Author: Tom Drury
Publisher: Old Street Publishing
Pages: 352
Publication year: 1994

Welcome to Grouse County, somewhere in the Midwest, where the towns are small but the people, their dreams and their eccentricities come in all sizes.
When Sheriff Dan Norman arrests local troublemaker Tiny Darling for vandalising an anti-vandalism dance, he does not expect much in the way of fallout. But unseen wheels have been set in motion, and lives will be changed: Dan finds love, Tiny loses his wife Louise, and all three travel an epic journey of the heart.
The End of Vandalism is full of small miracles of observation, compassion and humour, held together by the 'electric deadpan' of Drury's celebrated style. For readers willing to tune in, the experience will be a revelation.

The Author:
Thomas Jay Drury is an American writer. He was born in Iowa, in 1956, grew up in the small town of Swaledale and received his bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Iowa in 1980.

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