CM . . .
. Volume IX Number 12. . . . February 14, 2003
In a story, there is resolution or some kind of redemption but, in slice-of-life, things just go on. They might have great beginnings and wonderful middles, but the endings just kind of fizzle out. ("Grad Night")
The excerpt pretty much sums up the five short stories and novella in Revved, the latest offering from Saskatchewan writer, Rod MacIntyre. Nothing earth-shattering happens in any of the tales. They simply reflect moments of epiphany in the lives of their characters - and that is enough. Aside from "Grad Night," which follows the activities of several characters and is therefore told in third person, the stories are related by the characters themselves. "The Euthanasia Party" uses "you" as a narrative device, but the story still clearly has a first person feel to it. And since the importance of the stories lies in the impact of events on the central characters, this is an effective tool. Teen readers will be amused by the bizarre proceedings in "The Euthanasia Party," and young men will relate to Jode's frustration in "The Gene Thief." But the most riveting read of the book is in "Finding Out Tara," the novella which rejoins Boog, the central character from MacIntyre's successful novel, Yuletide Blues. Boog's candidness and his acceptance of the things that happen to him - and around him - inspire a sense of awe in the reader, as well as a desire for things to work themselves out. Whether or not they do remains a mystery - at least until the next book, because as MacIntyre said, "in slice of life, things just go on." Since today's young people question the future and their place in it, this is a philosophy they can relate to.
Kristin Butcher lives in Victoria, BC, and writes for children and young adults.
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Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.