Saturday, October 27, 2007

THE BOOK OF JOBY - Progress Report

I'm 3/4ths of the way through THE BOOK OF JOBY and I'm reluctant to say much for fear of giving away the secrets of this surprising novel.

One thing that I want to clear up right away is that this is not an endless book of suffering. There is a rather lengthly portion between one-fourth and halfway through the book where it did seem like Joby did nothing but suffer. However, his suffering was mental, not physical, and with some mysterious growth problems that turned out to be . . . I'd rather not say, but it wasn't what I expected. Suffice it to say that Joby does not turn out to be stunted in any way. Thanks to a demon on his shoulder, he is so clumsy in high school that he never does go out for team sports. The devil's tactic, as hinted on the cover blurb, is to doom Joby to mediocrity. Everything he tries either fails or just seems pointless.

And once you understand just who Joby really is, you understand why this is torture for him. He and his friends Laura and Ben are bound together by something that they have no clue about.

Halfway through the book, Joby has found a place of refuge where even Lucifer cannot reach him. Here Joby (and the reader) has a much-needed respite. Several peaceful years pass, during which this mysterious California town only gets even more mysterious. He is reunited with Ben and Laura, although his parents remain strangely absent. Their absence is not explained.

This novel follows no predictable formula. I cannot imagine what will come next. Ferrari did a nice job of tying Biblical stories to more modern myths, such King Arthur, fairies and elves. This novel doesn't pretend to be a Christian novel, so don't expect it to follow doctrine. However, although I can imagine that it might cause some raised eyebrows, I cannot imagine it causing offense. At least not in a person who enjoys fantasy.

In any case, it is quite difficult to put down!


Carole McDonnell said...

okay, neat. I was worried I'd have to see a child suffer. You know what I mean. Thanks for clearing that up. -C

Robert said...

Can't wait to see your final thoughts!

Tia Nevitt said...

I've finished it! Review forthcoming in the next few days!