Saturday, May 3, 2008

Yellowknife by Steve Zipp

Title: Yellowknife
Author: Steve Zipp
ISBN: 9780973632118
Publisher: Res Telluris, Canada/2007
Pages: 286

I had requested this book from Steve Zipp for The Canadian Book Challenge, way back in Nov 2007. He had posted it to me in November itself. However, I received it in April 2008. It took six months to reach me. I had assumed that it had been lost in the mail. I read it while travelling to work and back. It took me two days to finish it.

I do not know anything about Canada, let alone Yellowknife. This book educated me in many fronts. It is one of those books, which is not easy to review. Although I finished it somedays back, I have been putting off reviewing it. It is kind of very difficult to summarise the novel. Almost fruitless.

It is set in 1998, in Yellowknife, which is home for assorted people like bureaucrats and businessmen. Many arrive here for the lure of opportunities. This takes us into a world filled with humour, imagination, hope, love, lost love and much much more. It touches certain myths taking us through a tunnel of humanity. Both mysterious and mystical, we get to read about people who bond despite being strangers. There are no dark characters here, or purely good. The grey shades only endear them to us as we somehow identify with them. The scientific references...biology mixed with physics, chemistry and mathematics instantly gelled with me. Detailed prose too worked well for me.

Zipp has used motifs, metaphors which make this an excellent read. Although I had to go and back and forth while reading this, I couldn't leave it in the midst as I do with a few novels. I had to finish it till the end. I got glimpses about a world I know nothing about. Very insightful. Some might not like the book as it is not an easy read. However, it is well worth the effort. I would say, go for it!

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