sunday tribune logo
 
go button spacer This Issue spacer spacer Archive spacer

In This Issue title image
spacer
News   spacer
spacer
spacer
Sport   spacer
spacer
spacer
Business   spacer
spacer
spacer
Property   spacer
spacer
spacer
Tribune Review spacer
shadow
Arts
spacer
Books
spacer
Health and Fitness
spacer
Recruitment
spacer
Motoring
spacer
Personal Finance
spacer
spacer
Tribune Magazine   spacer
spacer

 

spacer
Books
spacer

Fiction -- A tale on a journey, but not really going anywhere
Emma Somers

print logo Print version email a friend logo Email to a friend


Traveller Ron McClarty Sphere, 280pp, 9.99 JONO Reilly is 11 years old, making snow angels, when his childhood friend . . . and secret love . . . is shot. The beautiful Marie D'Agostino survives but, almost 40 years later, the bullet that remained lodged in her shoulder 'travels', constricting an artery and killing Marie in her sleep. News of Marie's death draws Jono, now a part-time actor and full-time barman in New York, back to his hometown of East Providence on Rhode Island. And so the unsolved mystery of who shot Marie D'Agostino begins to unravel.

Traveller, by Ron McLarty . . . whose hit novel Memory of Running was championed by Stephen King in 2003 . . . is big on character but patchy when it comes to plot. Jono is likeable enough, mildly humourous, selfdeprecating . . . a typical, emotionally unaware Rhode Island man, he tells us. Until, that is, it comes to his relationship with feisty firefighter Renee Levesque, when he disintegrates into a pool of slush, melodrama and sickly cliche. It is this inconsistency of character that takes from Jono's credibility and draws further attention to the holes in the ill-thought-out plot.

Alternate chapters weave in and out of Jono's childhood memories of East Providence and his present-day search for answers in his hometown. At times McLarty's prose is quite beautiful, evoking scenic images of Rhode Island in the 1950s and '60s and telling touching comingof-age anecdotes. But mostly the flashbacks are awkward, falling short of that seamless, tensionbuilding narrative this technique lends itself to if executed properly.

Thus the story meanders on, carried along to a certain extent by McLarty's prose, but never quite credible . . . and even less so as the mystery unravels. The ending is disappointing and cliched, with a melodramatic denouement from the killer and a saccharine happy-ever-after tying up of loose ends for Jono, leaving the reader feeling like they haven't travelled very far at all with McLarty's characters.


print logo Print version email a friend logo Email to a friend
 
Back To Top >> 18/11/2007





spacer
More
The inhuman zoo
THERE was a zoo on the grounds
spacer
Knocking down the walls of intimidation
CATHERINE McCartney's book, Wa l l s
spacer
Paperbacks: Tom Widger
The Feckin' Book of Everything Irish Colin
spacer

more from the archives


         
spacer
contact icon Contact
spacer spacer
home icon Home
spacer spacer
search icon Search


advertisment




 

   
  Contact Us spacer Terms & Conditions spacer Copyright Notice spacer 2007 Archive spacer 2006 Archive