Saturday, November 26, 2011

Too Far - Rich Shapero

It took me about 10 hours to read Too Far. You can save yourself a lot of time by reading the description at the end of the book:

"On the outskirts of Fairbanks, six year-old Robbie meets a mesmerizing girl his own age, and together they explore the mysterious woodland surrounding their homes. The world they discover is built from their fantasis, and inhabited by creatures from their dreams. 
"But while Robbie and Fristeen grow inseparable, Robbie's parents are drifting apart, and Fristeen's mother is coming undone. As their homes become increasingly unstable, the children travel deeper and farther into their private world. The forest -and the gods who inhabit it- becomes their refuge until, at summer's end, they are forced to choose between the crushing prospects of the real world, and the lethal demands of their ideal one. 
"Told as a parable, and vividly observed, Too Far is an exhilarating and heart-breaking story of an end to innocence that captures the triumphs and follies of the child's imagination as it struggles to remain boundless and free."

In case you were wonderint, at the end Robbie and Fristeen are separated. And that's it. End of story.

To be fair, Too Far is not the total failure you would expect after listening to Dawn Remembers, the music album that comes with the book.

The dialogues between adults are just bad and flat, comparable to what you can find in any amateurish novel. The child porn scenes are copied from The Blue Lagoon, and the fantasy scenes are a mere adaptation from The Never Ending Story. The main problem of the book are the dialogues between the two children.  The dialogues are not only flat (which is a constant throughout the book), but don't sound entirely "childish", they seem to be taken from adults' mouths and put into children bodies after changing a couple of words. The only dialogues that sound "childish" are the ones with incomplete and incoherent sentences, as if being a child is equal to being mentally disabled. To be fair with Shapero, replicating children's dialogues is one of the hardest things to do. Few serious writers have actually done it, but in that case, I wonder why he tried.

As I said in my previous post, you can download Too Far from the Apple Store for free. Here's a Youtube video selling Too Far as a multimedia experience and a sign of the things to come in literature:

Indeed, if Too Far is the future of literature, then there are reasons to be worried...

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