Tuesday, October 16, 2012

The Magic in the Receiver by Paul Dillion

This novels goes back and forth between the past in Argostoli, Kefalonia in 1953 during a massive earthquake, the present and a week prior to the present. The story of the past, during the earthquake, relays the story of what happened to a nine year old boy named Ionnis Katros and his family. I really enjoyed this part of the story. And, I am disappointed that the story didn't go back to that part as often as the present. I would have really like to know more about characters relationships and what exactly happened to Ionnis older brother. Or more about how Nicia's and Andrea's relationship blossoms to what it is now in the present. There was so much that could have been worked on during the past that would made the story so much more interesting.

Then, there is the week before the present. In which Elena comes to Kefalonia with her father, Ioannis, to the festivities to honor Saint Gerasimos and to remember the earthquakes of 1953. This part of the story is also not told out as much as it could be. I would have liked to see more in the father's eyes of what he was feeling. Of how he was reminiscing about the past and how it effected him. But this part of the story is pretty brief, and it is in the eyes of Elena who just sees second hand of how her father is feeling and mostly just thinks it is really hot and tiring.

Those two parts of the stories correspond with each other and were the most fascinating parts of the story. But then there is the present, which is the bulk of the novel and it just didn't feel like it fit with the rest of the story. It is about Elena staying after her family leaves, to go back to the states after the festivities, and then how she meets a man name Ben who instantly falls head over heels for her. The only thing it had in common with the rest of the novel was that Elena was in it. It would have been much more interesting if it tied into the rest of the novel like Elena trying to find out more history of the earthquake event or something of that nature but no it just about Elena meeting Ben. Which makes me dislike Elena and the decisions that she makes along the way. Each time a new chapter came I was hoping it would be about the past but it was more about Elena and her poor decisions.

There seems to be a lot of unnecessary descriptions in some places and not enough description in others. Some of the extra description bogs down the story and takes away from it. I want to know more about the earthquake history and what happens during that past and not of Elena and Ben having dinner. There is a lot of awkward dialogue where it is just boring to read or I think, who really talks like that?

Then, the ending it just abruptly stops! It doesn't really conclude anything at the end. Which I hope that doesn't mean there is another novel because really all we needed was one extra paragraph stating exactly what Elena does in the end. But overall I just wished the story played more off of the past instead of awkwardly adding it and having no relation at all to what was happening to the present.

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