Saturday, February 20, 2010

Swimming by Nicola Keegan

A girl from a crazy Kansas family wins 12 Olympic gold medals in swimming.

I really loved this book. The Olympic gold plot merely a coat hanger for the energetic observations of the narrator (who bears many names), most frequently Pip. Using hardly any dialogue, the entire book is Pip’s impressions of the world. Key elements are the poetic rhythms of the prose and the black humor. I love the way the author was able to compress an entire scene, an entire story in a single paragraph. Lots of emotion, expressed and unexpressed. I didn’t quite understand the nervous breakdown in Paris at the end, or how it caps the narrative drive, but overall the book was delightful to read.

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