Monday, January 13, 2014

Book 2: Kornwolf

Kornwolf by Tristan Egolf is an incredible read. Ostensibly about a werewolf in Amish Pennsyltucky, it's really a darkly comedic look into thematically dense territory. It's uneven at times (some of the storylines are more gratuitious than necessary) but overall, it takes unexpected twists and turns. I often struggle when character development sends plot to the background, whihc happens a bit early on, but once the main characters are developed, the story veerss from mystery to religious satire to emotionally rich family drama with almost reckless abandon, setting up a final quarter that defies explanation. I love that Egolf pays us off in the end, taking his considerable talent with the written word and obliterating most of the genre fiction that it definitely isn't. There's a level of care here in depicting a folk tale that actually has roots in the Amish community depicted. Like I say, it's uneven with some humor at the wrong points, subplots to nowhere, and a bit of over-indulgence, but overall, it's an incredibly strong novel about so much more than "werewolves" (I'm almost shamed by even mentioning this word given it's genre, trope filled connotations). Outstanding.

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