A Fairy Tale

A Fairy Tale

Book - 2014
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A young boy grows up on the run with a loving father who has little respect for the law, and the boy is often distraught to leave behind new friendships. His anarchistic father gives him an unconventional home school education intended to contradict as much as possible the teachings of his own father, a preacher and a pervert. Ten years later, entering adulthood with a fake name and a monotonous job, he tries to conform to the demands of ordinary life, but the lessons of the past thwart his efforts, and questions about his father's childhood cannot be left unanswered.
Publisher: Toronto, Ontario : House of Anansi Press, 2014.
ISBN: 9781770893061
1770893067
Characteristics: 409 pages ;,21 cm

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wyenotgo
Aug 03, 2015

I can give this book only two stars even though I acknowledge its literary value. In many ways, it's an extended piece of prose, sometimes lyrical, often whimsical and filled with angst worthy of a German romantic poet.
But the subject matter is in the end depressing. I found Bengssson's choice of structure generally annoying: an endless series of vignettes, snapshots of moments in time, seemingly irrelevant events (a few of which turn out to be of consequence, but most not).
Nor is the protagonist a particularly sympathetic person. Some readers may forgive his cavalier treatment of Petra, who loves him so selflessly but I cannot. His father's totally screwed-up state of mind and bizarre behavior was clearly a poor influence on him, but that shouldn't let him off the hook. All of us are to one degree or another both beneficiary and victim of our parents; it's up to each of us to become our own person. Peter made some poor choices. The reviews and commentaries about the book promise an exploration of "the unbreakable bond between a father and a son". While that relationship is certainly there, it falls short of expectations, even in its final denouement.

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becker
Mar 27, 2014

This book chronicles the day to day life of a boy on the run with his father. The story is interesting and there is a steady feeling of anticipation. It pulls you through page after page because you are determined to get to the point where you find the purpose. It does provide a conclusion but only through the reader's inference. I had to laugh at the end of it because I felt like the author had outsmarted me.

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