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Finny ~ Justin Kramon

May 4, 2011


Genre: Adult Fiction
Publisher: Random House Trade Paperbacks
384 pages
ISBN: 9780812980233
Source: Book store

To summarize Finny like any other book, would be to cheat it of so much of the praise and depth it deserves. In short, it is an epic telling of friends and family, through several decades, as each discover loss and love and longing.

Our heroine, Delphine Short, or Finny for, um, short, is hands down, one of my favorite written characters in my history of reading books. Perhaps it isn’t her, at all, but, rather, the other people painted around her that build her up to be such an incredible force. The strange thing is that the characters aren’t so much likable as they are honest.  Justin Kramon’s understanding of the normalcy of oddness is what drives this book, endearing to the reader all of the quirky strangeness that we, as people, live and breathe, every day.

I hate to compare the book to Irving because I feel like I’ve done that recently. In a way, it rings true, though. Both Irving and Kramon have a succinct way of capturing the absurd in the completely mundane. Their magic, I think, is in piecing out catastrophic events that leave us underwhelmed and laughing at the banal details that leave us weeping or earth shatteringly down and out. The emotional impact of everyday events seems to follow the actual pattern of human reaction rather than the wrote and prescribed theory of “how it should be”.

I was happily surprised, in retrospect, to see that this had received such high praise from the media and other bloggers. I thought that, for sure, this would be a cult classic or a book that I would end up enjoying all by myself. In addition to ringing true, it seems to have also transcended reader barriers and appealed to myriad tastes.

A beautiful piece, for sure, this is one I will be treasuring and passing a long, without a doubt. If you haven’t read it, I highly recommend it. If you have read it, I suggest a rereading.

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