Thursday, July 24, 2008

Click by Every YA Author Going

"Ten bestselling, award-winning authors unite for a novel of brilliant writing, global adventure, and constant surprise."

I had Click on my desk for quite a while before I read it. I felt kind of torn--the concept was interesting--10 chapters, each one by a different author--but somehow I was still dubious. The authors just didn't seem that compatible--what do David Almond and Nick Hornby have in common, after all? Or Margo Lanagan and Roddy Doyle? Besides all being brilliant. But, unlike collaborations like Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist by Levithan and Cohn, where the writers are kind of similar to begin with (and friends to boot), these writers are all brilliantly, um, individual. I just didn't see how it would all hang together.

Well, it does. It helps that each chapter is told from the point of view of a different character (one character is repeated three times, but by the time that happens, I was happily in the flow of things). The differences between the narrative styles of each chapter, and even the genres (from magic realism to war story to speculative fiction to....) end up being one of the book's pleasures. Rather than rudely jolting, these differences end up being playful, and the chapters reference each other so cleverly that the whole book begins to seem like a lively game of catch between the writers. You can see the sparks of inspiration start to fly. And really, in what other novel can you read something like:

"There we were, Mum and me at the water's edge. Like Gee said, it was like I was something washed up by the sea, like Mum was reaching out to help me up, to help me to be born. I saw how seaweedy my hair truly was, how sealy my skin was. Then I looked away, looked back again, but it was true. A fin was growing at my back. Narrow, pale, half formed, like it was just half grown, but it was a fin."

and then, a few chapters later:

"Now, two years later, Vincent still had two main claims to fame. He was the eejit who'd once spent seventeen hours on a hospital trolley, looking like he was trying to climb up his own bum..."

All royalties from Click are being donated by the authors to Amnesty International.

1 comment:

brave chickens said...

I loved 'Click' and always recommend it to friends.