Printer Friendly

One for Sorrow.

EXCELLENT

A ghost of a chance for adolescent outsiders.

When Jamie Marks is murdered outside of Youngstown, Ohio, the boy's ghost appears to Gracie Highsmith, the classmate who discovered his body. Adam McCormick, a dysfunctional child and one of Jamie's few friends in life, discovers that he can see the spirit. In short order, the adolescent-ghost relationship blossoms--as does Adam's relationship with Gracie--forming a bond among the three that they never shared when Jamie was alive. Traveling with Jamie into the "dead spaces" that hold wondrous and horrifying sights, Adam considers joining his friend. Gracie, realizing the danger of crossing into the spirit world, struggles to save Adam, who starts to lose touch with his physical surroundings.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

Bantam. 320 pages. $12. ISBN: 0553384368

San Francisco Chronicle EXCELLENT

"Barzak wisely discards the amateur detective cliches that coagulate around this kind of fantasy and concentrates on Adam's brave, interior struggle to find the value in his family, his first girlfriend, his hometown and himself. Smart and affecting, One for Sorrow is a first novel likely to haunt those who fall under its spell." MICHAEL BERY

SciFi.com EXCELLENT

"Barzak has made an impact with many stories in various venues, and he's part of a new generation of writers coming at the genre with an 'interstitial' or 'slipstream' perspective that blend the fantastical with the mimetic. So it's no surprise to find his debut novel well crafted, sensitive and literary, as well as suitably pulpy in places." PAUL DI FILIPO

Washington Post EXCELLENT

"One for Sorrow is ultimately a coming-of-age story, more melancholy than morbid and, by the end, profoundly hopeful. The writing is beautiful, honest and heartbreaking." LAURA WHITCOMB

Village Voice EXCELLENT

"One for Sorrow, Christopher Barzak's lovely, melancholy, offbeat first novel, affectingly captures the emotional centrifuge that is adolescence, with sex and longing the fixed axes around which everything else spins. ... The novel has some problems with pacing, and in a few spots believable characterization are ground under the wheels of the plot machine." ELIZABETH HAND

CRITICAL SUMMARY

Christopher Barzak's One for Sorrow is a rare thing indeed--a horror novel with heart. It's not often that such a book, particularly a debut (Barzak's reputation comes from his short fiction), is described as "lovely, melancholy" (Village Voice). But Barzak balances his story's supernatural aspects, which he delivers with simple assuredness, with the uncertainties and complexities of adolescence. One for Sorrow has been compared to The Catcher in the Rye and Alice Sebold's The Lovely Bones. In the case of the latter, though, Barzak's book is quite a bit edgier and focuses little on the search for Jamie's killer. Instead, Barzak develops the adolescent relationships into "a coming-of-age story, more melancholy than morbid and, by the end, profoundly hopeful" (Washington Post).
COPYRIGHT 2008 Bookmarks Publishing LLC
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2008 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Publication:Bookmarks
Article Type:Book review
Date:Jan 1, 2008
Words:460
Previous Article:Nova Swing.
Next Article:The Braindead Megaphone.
Topics:


Related Articles
The Sorrows of Empire.
The Healing Conscious.
One For Sorrow, Two For Joy.
Stereographic Projection Techniques for Geologists and Civil Engineers (2nd Edition).
The Sorrow Psalms.
The Sorrow Psalms.
The shame and the sorrow; Dutch-Amerindian encounters in New Netherland.
Sky Dancer explores family dynamics in new book.
Raschka, Chris: The Purple Balloon.

Terms of use | Privacy policy | Copyright © 2019 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters