It has been a very long time since anyone here at SMS Guys Read has posted anything new. The main reason for that was the holiday season and the fact that most of our members are currently tracked out.
I have been spending most of my track-out break reading and thinking about blog posts I would like to make. Today I decided to break out the keyboard and actually get some posting done. I would like to start with a review of a book that I finished just before the holiday break. The book was called The Road of Bones by Anne Fine.
I got turned onto this book while checking out GuysLitWire awhile ago. It really looked like an interesting book and I had just finished reading a book called Long Way Round, and watching the documentary with Ewan McGregor about his motorcycle trip around the world. In that adventure he travels the Road of Bones. With those images in my head I was ready for an adventure/survival book with a Soviet Gulag theme.
I have to admit this was a difficult book to get started. The story deals with a semi-unnamed country that you imagine to be the Soviet Union, but it is very confusing and I have to say I almost gave up. The book opens with a family arguing over a revolution and the lies, or truths, being told to them by the government. The leader of this government is called father, which again could be confusing to some. Because I was reading while school was still in session and reading with my students I decided to be a good example and soldier on, and after the first few confusing chapters the adventure part of the story kicked in and I really enjoyed how the book built this sense of desperation and how the main character, Yuri, came of age. After a few too many anti-government comments Yuri is forced to run away and live off the land. He manages to get by for sometime, but eventually he is caught and is sent to a work prison camp so far away they are on the train for weeks. After years of living and working in this camp he finally escapes with two other men. They way they escape is very interesting, and disturbing. I can't reveal the gross plan, but it is worth checking out. In the end it is a depressing read, but if you understand the underlining message it should make you very happy you live in a country that allows you the freedoms that it does.
So if you know anything about Soviet Gulags, or want to know what it was like to live under a dictator like Stalin and you can get through the confusing opening, I recommend The Road of Bones by Anne Rice.