Gazore! by William Hallewell
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
In Gazore!, Gremlins meets Build-A-Bear in this whimsical tale of two teens taking care of younger kids who both want to build creatures at the new store at the mall. As you might expect, everything goes awry.
I felt the narrative had a lot of voice, which was engaging at first. And the concept was certainly interesting. While written and edited decently, there were several things that I felt weren’t very strong.
The book switched from narrative to prose, which kind of created a bit of whiplash for me. I found myself trying to read the narrative parts in verse, and the rhyming followed me even when I put the book down.
The book switched between three different view points, from Doug to Elly to Stan. While the voices change some between the characters, the overall switch between poems and narrative stuck through each voice, which made them all seem more alike than different. Also, it tended to backtrack each time it changed view point, so you basically got the entire story about 2-3 times by the time you were finished. Yes, some of the information was different, but not enough most of the time to warrant a complete backtrack, in my opinion.
At one point the teenagers leave the youngsters to help with a disastrous situation, but they leave them with no guidance, and no worry about their safety, which (as a mother) I found upsetting.
Stan is a rather different view point, being from a government agency, and he does interviews of the owners of the different creatures involved in the story. Here, again, the interviews seemed to be of roughly the same type of person. Over and over we see stupid, distracted, and basically exasperating individuals testing Stan’s patience (mostly in verse).
Finally, I was frustrated by the ending. Doug assures us the entire way through the book that we’ll get all of our answers, but at the end I didn’t really feel satisfied with what I found out. And the final scene just served to frustrate me more, as it seemed to undo pretty much everything the book had just done (not like a dream sequence or anything like that, but still a bit disappointing, in my opinion).
It’s a shame, because it had an interesting start, and if executed differently, I think the plot could have been stellar. It just didn’t end up being my cup of tea.
But if you like absurdist humor, or experimental fiction, you may enjoy this book.
**This book was clean.