Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Waiting for Columbus

I had been hearing people talk about Thomas Trofimuk's book Waiting for Columbus every time I turned around so, I finally broke down and bought the audiobook from Audible.  The book is narrated by Grover Gardner and he does an excellent job.  (I think I might end up doing a search for him on Audbile to see what else he has narrated).  So what's the story about?  This mysterious man is found in the Straits of Gibraltar and is taken to a mental hospital in Spain. He insists he is Christopher Columbus.  Throughout the story, Columbus tells stories to Nurse Consuela (who is falling in love with the storyteller).  These stories tell about the loves of Christopher Columbus, of Columbus' struggle to get his ships and sail around the world, Columbus' fear of the Inquisition and his relationship with Queen Isabella.  The stories are beautiful fantasies that have details of modern items interspersed in them (such as telephones) so that you never quite believe they are true but you desperately want them to be true.  As Columbus tells his stories, Nurse Consuela and the doctors at the institution are trying to figure out who this man is and what has made him disappear into this fantasy world. 

Overall, this was one of the best books I've read in a long time.  At times, the story would slow down a bit but I didn't really realize it because Trofimuk uses language so well.  His descriptions, his word choice, his sentence structure are all unique and enchanting. Numerous times I found myself thinking "I would never have thought to use that description" or "what an odd way to write that sentence."  Plus, there was a very interesting point of view change in the book that I still haven't quite figured out the reason for but I can tell it was deliberate.  On top of that, it's not often that a narrator reads a story to where I can feel the sentence structure and nuances of the language and Grover Gardner did that. 

I definitely recommend this book to anybody who loves a good story.


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