Saturday, May 14, 2011

Review: Airmail by Naomi Bulger

 Publishing Information:
Title – Airmail
Author – Naomi Bulger
Publisher – iUniverse.com
Date Published - 2011
# of pages - 104

Genres & Themes: Fiction, Contemporary, Magical realism, Letters

Stats:
GoodReads – 7 Ratings, 3.57 Average Rating
Amazon.com – 1 Rating, 5 .0 Average Rating

My Rating: 3.75/5

Plot Summary:
Reclusive old Mr. G.L. Solomon's favorite things are single malt whiskey, Steve McQueen movies, and gingersnap cookies. He hates processed cheese, washing detergent commercials, and the way the teacup rattles in the saucer when he picks it up. Solomon has become accustomed to his lonely routine in Sydney, Australia-until the day he begins sporadically receiving letters in his mailbox from a complete stranger. On the other side of the world, Anouk is a mentally delicate young woman living in New York who insists she is being stalked by a fat woman in a pink tracksuit. When Anouk declares to Solomon that she is writing "from the Other Side," the old man breaks away from his daily grind of watching soap operas and reading Fishing World and travels to New York to find her. As he is drawn into Anouk's surreal world of stalkers and storytelling, marbles and cats, purgatory and Plato, Solomon has but one goal-to unravel the mystery before it is too late.

Noteworthy:

*Multiple perspectives

* Parts of the story are written in epistolary (letter/short story) format

What I thought:

Airmail was a quick, quirky, fun little read. I really enjoyed both the main characters Anouk and G.L. Solomon. Anouk was so unpredictable and half the time it sounded like she was just going crazy. She seems to have insomnia most of the time so it really did make me wonder if she was in fact going bonkers. Then there is G.L. Solomon whose life up until he receives Anouks letters sounds really predictable. There is even a chapter or two describing how his days and weeks go by. Both of them were really likeable characters in my opinion which made me always happy to pick up my copy of Airmail and read some more.

Anouk's letters were definitely my favourite part of the story. I really felt like I was reading somebody's letters - like a real person and not the author of this story was speaking to me. They went by quickly and I was always looking forward to the next one. Sometimes we get the play by play from her perspective and then sometimes we see things from G.L.'s perspective and get the story in letter format. Not knowing how the next installment of Anouk's run in with the lady in the pink tracksuit - a storyline that glues all the pieces together - will come next always kept me on my toes and I believe is one of the reasons that makes it a quick read. Then there are the things that Anouk sends G.L. along with her letters and it was so fun to see what they'd be and how G.L. would respond to them. One of these items, being a set of three marbles was totally off the wall weird. I don't want to spoil any part of the story so I'll just leave you a teaser - the marbles tell stories of their own. Yeah...you read that right. The marbles tell G.L. some pretty interesting stories. And it's here where I realise that maybe Anouk isn't crazy but the whole world is just topsy turvy. Well, this is magical realism after all.

Overall, reading Airmail felt like a dream. Everything felt so realistic, yet there was also something so off beat about the world that I knew I had to be missing something,like I wasn't in the real world but I couldn't quite figure that out. When I got to the end of the story and found out about what was really going on with the lady in the pink tracksuit, that's when I knew...I had to be dreaming. And it was okay to wake up but I'd probably remember bits and pieces of it when I did. I am still pondering a little bit, wondering if my interpretation of the dream is the right one. But then, those things take time.



Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Recommended to: Magical realism fans, Epistolary fans

Where you can purchase this book:


Add this book to your tbr list:
Visit the Airmail Goodreads page.


Giveaway:
Did this book sound good to you? Why not enter the international giveaway going on right now. Ends May 28, 2011

Click here for your chance to win a copy of Airmail by Naomi Bulger




2 comments:

  1. Hi,
    Your description of Airmail reminds me of the Griffin and Sabine series I read as a kid. It had an epistolary format and wove in many elements of magical realism. Also, I always felt locked into a dream after reading them. Cheers.

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  2. Thank you for the visit and follow. I'm glad you enjoyed the music. There are actually some posts on my blog about why some of the songs are on my I-Pod. I usually have a reason for the particular songs I listen to. Look forward to more visits with and from you. Thanks. Donna

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