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Month in review

Reviews:
Andreanna by S. L. Gilbow
The Angels of Morgan Hill by Donna VanLiere
Bark up the Right Tree by Jessie and Ruth Tschudin
Beware of Tigers by David Horowitz
Can You Spell Revolution? by Matt Beam
Dark Side of the Morgue by Raymond Benson
Falling Free by Lois McMaster Bujold
Fiction by Ara 13
Fool by Christopher Moore
Gambling for Good Mail by Evelyn Cole
Going Postal: Rage, Murder, and Rebellion by Mark Ames
The Heroes of Googley Woogley by Dalton James
The Letter by Richard Paul Evans
Naked Pictures of Famous People by Jon Stewart
An Ornithologist's Guide to Life by Ann Hood
Politics in Compassion by Jack Schauer
The Price of Silence by Deborah Ross
R is for Ricochet by Sue Grafton
Sea Wrack by Edward Jesby
South-Sea Idyls Charles Warren Stoddard
Sparks: How Parents Can Ignite the Hidden Strengths of Teenagers by Peter L. Benson
Stratosphere by Henry Garfield
The Take-Us by John Raymond Takacs
The Three Incestuous Sisters by Audrey Niffenegger
Three Shadows by Cyril Pedrosa
The Silent Man by Alex Berenson
Ulysses by James Joyce
Vigilante Witch Hunter by Gary Turcotte
Voices Under Berlin by THE Hill
The Willoughbys by Lois Lowry
Women in Business by Patricia Annino
The World I Never Made by James LePore



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5 stars: Completely enjoyable or compelling
4 stars: Good but flawed
3 stars: Average
2 stars: OK
1 star: Did not finish

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My Kind of Mystery Reading Challenge 2017 February - January 2017-8



Comments for Fiction: A Novel

Fiction: A NovelFiction: A Novel: 06/16/09

Meta is a Greek prefix that in English is used to mean something self referential. If you run a blog or a website, you know meta in the form of metatags. Fiction a novel by the oddly named Ara 13 is metafiction — a book that draws attention to its own fictionality to open a discussion about the barrier between fact and fiction.

At its most basic level, Fiction is yet another missionary on a quest to convert "savages" to Christianity. It's right there with The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver, At Play in the Fields of the Lord by Peter Matthiesen and to a lesser degree Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad. In Fiction, the missionary is a priest, Father Daniel who has gone in search of the "fierce Oquanato cannibals" whom he hopes to convert to Christianity.

Instead of just presenting the entire story from the priest's point of view and watching him slowly either sink into madness, go native or lose his life in the failed process of the mission. Instead, Fiction presents both sides of story and uses very similar language for both parties. The tribe members speak in a slang that's quirky but no different than any other small group of people. By making creating recognizable and memorable characters, Ara 13 opens the dialogue between "civilized" and "savage" morals.

In that dialogue the belief system of the tribe begins to come to light. Other reviews giveaway the source material for their bible but I'm not going to do that. A big part of the fun of Fiction is figuring out what their good book is. The choice of source material works. It's full of many of the same themes as the Bible but its probably never thought of in those terms. Dreamybee asked if the choice felt gimmicky to me. No. It made me laugh and then it made me think but at no time did it strike me as a gimmick.

The final third of the book deals with the aftermath of Father Daniel discovering the truth behind their religious beliefs. The dialogue ends with both sides accusing the other of believing in fiction.

One question I've been asked by Gautami Tripathy if I would read more books by Ara 13. The short answer is yes. He has another novel out, Drawers & Booth (2007) that I hope to read some day.

The author's website.

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Comment #1: Thursday, June, 18, 2009 at 04:27:32

Riot

Ohh yeah Ara 13 is definitely one of the better metafiction/postmodernist writers out there right now. I really enjoyed this book. If you get around to reading D&B before I do, let me know! Would love to see what you thought of it :)



Comment #2: Thursday, June 18, 2009 at 20:55:23

Pussreboots

My TBR pile is so full right now I'm not looking to buy any books for a while. I'm pretty sure you'll get to the book before I do.