Sunday, November 18, 2012
But I digress (and exaggerate).
Yesterday I placed my many inadequacies aside and brought home William Alexander's Goblin Secrets, winner of this year's National Book Awards. I knew absolutely nothing about the story except for what the great Gary D. Schmidt said about it during and just after the awards ceremony. My thinking was this: If Gary D. Schmidt loves this book, Beth Kephart better give it a whirl.
Beth Kephart's happy that she did. Lacking the vocabulary to offer a precise critique, she'll just say this: the world Alexander creates—of creaking gears and angry pigeons, traveling caravans and glass clocks, brave boys and forgiving goblins—is engrossing, palpable, nearly Venetian as it limns its masquerade. The characters are heart-string-tuggers. There's a river here that doesn't just flow but talks. There are coming floods. There are anticipated disasters. These are kids who take it upon themselves to rescue sinking cities.
Which is all so absolutely apropos in the wake of the storms, rivers, seas that threaten to undo us.