Friday, 18 May 2012
An Epitaph for Coyote: A Novel - Bryan R. Dennis
Title: An Epitaph for Coyote: A Novel
Author: Bryan R. Dennis
Genre: General Fiction
"An Epitaph for Coyote" is a rather thought provoking read that I struggled to define as being part of any specific genre. Whilst it contains a slight romantic element it is without doubt centred on satirising corporate America and the consumerist ideology that currently drives most Western economies. It wasn't a fast read by any stretch of the imagination, but it still kept me interested and I always enjoy reading the odd book like this that is designed to make me think.
The story itself follows Henry Pluck, a quiet man devoted to his work who is happy enough living out a life that some would call mundane. The only rather unusual aspect to his life is around the fact that he spends his leisure time at nursing homes chatting with the elderly. His life however changes forever when he meets a rather atypical woman named Rosa. As he finds himself become attracted to her, he can't help but become influenced by her own views and slowly but surely he begins to see that the life he had previously held in such high regard was actually lacking in so much.
The start of the novel really presents Henry as a rather unsympathetic character, his obsession with his work and the over regulation of his life wouldn't win him many friends. However, as the novel progressed I could see his sense of humour and enjoyable sarcastic side coming through alongside the other small changes that were mounting up in Henry's life little by little. I especially found that Henry's rather amusing internal monologues really brought out these changes as well as being some of the most entertaining aspects of the novel.
One issue I had with the novel was in regards to the first chapter. This section of the book actually had me thinking that the novel was going to be based around some sort of supernatural premise when it really isn't. I actually spent the first half of the book trying to work out if Rosa was going to turn into some sort of shape shifting monster! I just found that this first chapter was a little bit disconnected from the rest of the novel and by the end of the book I still had no idea why it was even included. It wasn't a major issue really but it created some confusion and expectation that didn't need to be there.
Overall I found this book to be an enjoyable and interesting look at ourselves as a people that enables the reader to take stock and look at their own lives and relationships. The story isn't fast paced or action packed, but the characterisation is spot on and the journey itself is quite engaging. Due to this you do really need to be 'in the mood" for a novel like this but if you are looking for a thoughtful yet humourous novel then you should defiantly give this book a shot.
Challenges Book Counts Towards:
Ebook Reading Challenge (The Eclectic Bookshelf)
Ebook Reading Challenge (Workaday Reads)