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Snowmen by Mark Sedore
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Snowmen (edition 2010)

by Mark Sedore

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411,664,912 (5)4
Member:lkernagh
Title:Snowmen
Authors:Mark Sedore
Info:Arsenal Pulp Press (2010), Paperback, 160 pages
Collections:11 in 11 Challenge, Read but unowned
Rating:*****
Tags:Fiction, Canadian Author, Canadiana, Brothers, Cancer, Dying, Asperger Syndrome, Journey, Arctic Circle, Read in 2011, 11 in 11 Challenge

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Snowmen by Mark Sedore

Recently added bybmlg, brenpike, vancouverdeb, lkernagh
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» See also 4 mentions

I found this book at my local library one day while browsing the shelves. It is amazing how great books are discovered that way!

Charles Perth is a music therapist. He helps people relearn how to play the piano after a stroke or accident. He is gifted with the ability to detect perfect pitch in every sound. Truly a rare gift. His younger brother Larry is also gifted. In Larry's case, his gift is in understanding the complex world of mathematics, logic and science. The brothers can almost be described as polar opposites - Charles is well-adjusted and socially balanced while Larry suffers extreme social awkwardness related to his Asperger syndrome. Larry has twice battled cancer and won. When he is diagnosed for a third time - this time with inoperable brain cancer- Larry wants to go out with a bang and comes up with the idea, with Charles help, to walk across the Arctic Circle from Canada to Russia, in a unprecedented campaign to raise funds for cancer research. When Larry's cancer advances and he is no longer able to make this historic walk, Charles decides to make the trek in Larry's place.

This story was a fascinating glimpse into the antagonistic relationship between the brothers, the desire in all of us to leave a legacy behind as a testament to our lives and the stark, barren openness and loneliness of Charles' journey at the top of the world. At 167 pages, Sedore has accomplished something that, in my opinion, many writers lack: the ability to write a story that captivates the reader, drawing them into the drama and experience it themselves, without a lot of unnecessary words. The fact this story was written in three short days - Sedore's Snowmen won the 2009 International 3-Day Novel Contest - is a testament in itself to Sedore's skill as a writer. Snowmen is Sedore's first published novel, what I hope will be the first of many more to come. My only complaint about the book has nothing to do with the story, the subject matter or the writing style. My complaint is with the font size - I swear they printed this in size 6 font. Good thing it was double spaced.

Overall, a truly remarkable story from a gifted new writer. ( )
1 vote lkernagh | Mar 14, 2011 |
Through his sparse, economical writing and keen ear for believable dialogue, Sedore unerringly pulls the reader in, making us care about the three main players in the book. We care deeply what happens to them all – even Larry, despite his vindictiveness. Or maybe because of it.
 
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To my parents, Clare and Dolores
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I put my hand to my lips and press warmth into the back of my thumb until I can feel it again.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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From the 3-Day Novel Contest: Charles Perth, motivated by less-than-noble intentions, plans to be the first person to walk alone over the North Pole, bisecting the Arctic Circle between Canada and Russia. He leaves behind the woman he loves—knowing he can never see her again even if he makes it to the other side. During his journey, Charles is confronted by the extreme climate, dangerous predators and constant blinding summer sun of the Arctic, now permanently frozen due to a drastic global climate shift. Charles is also subject to the intentional malevolence of his dying brother who, from thousands of kilometres away, has the resources and knowledge to make the solo expedition difficult, or even deadly. If Charles is to succeed—or survive—he must overcome exhaustion, starvation, sabotage and despair, and find in himself the strength and will to beat his brother at his own game.
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