“The Junior Arsonist’s Club” by Craig Tollifson – weird but in a contrived way

junior-arsonists-coverI close the audible ap, pull out the earbuds, stare into space, looking for my opinion of the book I’ve just finished. A single phrase writes itself across the back of my eyes:

“Well THAT happened”

I’m not entirely sure what THAT was.

I know having Amy McFadden reading it carried me along in the hope of something truly good but, although I tried to stay positive as I iourneyed through this tale of a repressed woman, in a loveless marriage, with a twelve year old daughter, newly adopted from a Russian orphanage, who has a passionate desire to set fire to the sofa, I couldn’t put aside the sense that what I was reading was fake.

I’m sure this was meant to be quirky, with a coating of zaney around a soft-centre of difficult truths. What I got was something that tried too hard, was self-conscious rather than self-aware and seemed to arrive nowhere in particular.

I’m sure there are people who will love this. I’m just not one of them. Another phrase comes to mind that sums this up: “It’s nice work if you can get it, but I don’t get it.”


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