Louis Sacher’s book, Holes is one of my favourite books ever – a masterpiece of structure that doesn’t sacrifice story and character. I’ve tried a few other of his kids books and been underwhelmed, but I liked the sound of this one so I gave it a go.
I didn’t hate it. It’s quite American, which is fine since it’s written by an American and set in America, but for not Americans some things are just a bit culturally different.
It’s a story about bullying and coming of age, and also a sort of sci-fi adventure with a genetically engineered microorganism that escapes from the lab.
One thing that really annoyed me about listing to the audiobook (and this is entirely my problem – it’s not a fault of the writer or the narrator) is that at the beginning of each chapter, to illustrate how quickly microorganisms can reproduce and a small number turns in to a huge number with exponential growth, there are sums: one plus one is two, two plus two is four… and so on, until soon the numbers are in the hundreds of thousands. In the UK we use the word ‘and’ a lot in long numbers: one thousand, three hundred AND ten, or just, one hundred AND one. In American it seems they miss out the AND: one thousand, three hundred, ten or one hundred one. This for some reason annoyed the heck out of me. What does that say about me. I don’t know.