Thursday, July 22, 2010

Book Review: A Good Scent From A Strange Mountain

Yup, back to back book reviews.

If you're looking for something great to read, I highly recommend "A Good Scent From A Strange Mountain" by Robert Olen Butler. This collection of short stories -- which won the 1993 Pulitzer Prize for fiction -- revolves around the theme of Vietnamese Americans living in Louisiana*. To put it simply, the writing is beautiful and the stories are all memorable.

My buddy Jim had given me this book after I asked him if he had anything that was jumping off his shelf. Once I opened the book I couldn't put it down. In fact, after reading the first three short stories I sent Jim a text message that said, "These stories are beautiful. I'm gonna try to read this book slowly so I can really enjoy it." Well, I tried to read it slowly but I finished it in four days.

Put this one on your summer reading list! If you don't believe me, here's a link to the NY Times Book Review about the boook.

* All the stories revolve around Vietnamese Americans except the last two, which I felt were great stories but seemed out of place and didn't go with the work as a whole. Jim later told me that the last two stories ("Salem" and "Missing") were added in later publications.