Thursday, June 7, 2007
Lies We Tell to Make Ourselves Feel Better
In James Scudamore's novel, Anti and Fabian are unlikely friends in Quito, Ecuador who share a love for outlandish yarn-spinning and yearn to "discover" something remarkable. While they will talk about everything, one subject goes unmentioned, the deaths of Fabian's parents. One night, after too much tequila, Fabian tells the story of his parents' demise. Anti, sympathetic, yet disbelieving, crafts a false newspaper story to demonstrate his support for Fabian and the fictions that help him get through this tragedy. However, Fabian reads the clipping and also notes the bogus story next to it, one for an Amnesia Clinic serving victims of accidents or kidnappings with no memories of who they are. Fabian is certain his mother, whose body was never recovered, is staying in the Amnesia Clinic. The boys set off on a journey that will reveal more about their friendship and future than either can imagine. The compelling story, natural and likeable characters and realistic portrayals of adults are the highlights of this novel. Scudamore has captured well the sense of wonder and familiarity the boys experience with their shared world and each other. Readers have compared this book to Life of Pi by Yann Martel.