Welcome back, my lovely people. I’ve returned from my week of finals stress to bring you yet another novel review.
I found this one, The Parade by Dave Eggers, on the New Releases table at Barnes and Noble. I didn’t realize until after I bought it that Dave Eggers wrote The Circle, which my mom said was good and which was made into a movie.
This book is 179 pages of something I’m not used to reading. This review will be shorter than usual because of the length of the book.
Four: Four is a foreign contractor who has been hired to pave sixty-something roads. He is quick, on task, and wants to do the job and get home without any distractions.
Nine: This is Nine’s first job. He is cheerful and friendly, and he and Nine clash early on.
Medallion: Medallion meets Four on the road and wears him down until they’re almost friends. Four calls him Medallion because he wears a medallion around his neck. He wants nothing more than to be helpful.
Cousin: Medallion’s cousin, who helps Four and Nine.
Four and Nine are strangers when they are assigned as partners on a new project: to pave a road between the northern capital and feuding south of a country after a civil war. At the end of the project, a parade will follow the new road from the capital in a show of good faith and power. Four does not speak the local language, but Nine does.
Though their superiors say they shouldn’t interact with the locals, Nine immediately makes friends, much to Four’s displeasure. Every day while paving, Nine disappears from his job to clear the road of obstacles, and Four is forced to deal with inconveniences on his own, which he should not have to do.
Four starts to get concerned, though, when Nine fails to return for a few days. He plans to report Nine for incompetence, and if the company finds him dead, so be it. But Medallion, who Four had only met a few days earlier, arrives with news that will truly put their demanding schedule in jeopardy.
This one was a really quick read, and also pretty interesting. In a short time, we learn about the politics of an unnamed country and the feud between two clashing partners. While short, there is a depth and complexity I didn’t quite expect (but might have expected if I remembered who Dave Eggers was).
For a quick read, it was pretty good. I might actually go and read The Circle now.
3.5/5. It’ll go on my bookshelf.
Thank you for reading! I plan to come back next week with a longer novel for you. Until then, go ahead and take a look at my bookshelf to see what other novels I’ve kept over the years. My last post, fro two weeks ago, was Washington Black by Esi Edugyan.
Have a good week, and I’ll see you Sunday!