Friday, 15 February 2013

Almost Home - Frank Marcopolos



Title: Almost Home
Author: Frank Marcopolos
Genre: General Fiction
Published: 2011
Formats: Ebook

Available at:
Amazon
Smashwords
Kobo
Amazon UK

I started reading “Almost Home” by Frank Marcopolos under the assumption that it would be a very sports centric novel and was therefore surprised to find out that it was actually much more than this. The plot has several twists and turns and explores the overall drama of college life with particular attention being paid to the more seedy aspects.

The novel follows the conflict between two protagonists, Barry Budiski and Enzo Prinziatta which occurs from the moment they meet at a Halloween Frat party. Things get worse at the part when a stripper appears to die from a drug overdose and Enzo is thrown out by a few of Barry’s fraternity brothers. Barry, who is president of the Frat house soon realises that he should try and keep his potential enemies closer and therefore joins the same baseball team as Enzo and even invites him to be a honourary fraternity brother. Before long the two of them are more or less working together but there is still a level of conflict that continues to bubble along beneath the surface, enhanced by the involvement of two women named Jenny & Shannon.

I found the book to be cleverly written, fast paced and interesting in the way it explored multiple elements of University life, from the wild parties to life in the dorms. I also appreciated how Marcopolos gives the readers a narrative that alternates between the viewpoints of both Barry and Enzo. This alternating viewpoint ensured that I could attempt to understand the way in which the characters were acting to the point that at times I couldn’t actually decide if I actually liked or disliked them. There really was no good or bad guys in the story, these were meant to be characters with both negative and positive aspects which I enjoyed seeing.

However, I did have some issues with the characters and that was in regards to their maturity. I will admit it was 10 years since I was at University myself and it was based in the UK but I don’t remember myself or my friends acting in such an immature manner. Maybe I am misremembering it as being much more highbrow that it really was or perhaps my friends and I were not the norm but either way it ensured that I struggled to really relate with the characters as much as I wanted to.

Overall, this was an interesting book and I enjoyed seeing characters in both a positive and negative light even if I did feel that they were a little bit immature for University students. Personally, I suspect this book will appeal to people in their mid-teens as that is the age group of people I think who would really relate with the characters and perhaps therefore gain more from reading it.