Monday, April 6, 2015
Death Coming Up the Hill by Chris Crowe
I read this last year but there are a few books that I loved and wanted to still write about. This is one of those books. I had pre-ordered this book. Then one day, it appeared on my wee kindle and it was perfect timing. I had just finished a book and was ready to dive into another. Truthfully, all I knew about this book before buying it is that I really like the author. That was good enough for me. But the surprise I got when I began reading...I didn't expect. I immediately, immediately, fell in love with it. I was hooked and did not want to put it down. I read it while at the gym, and I got some great LONG workouts on the treadmill because I just didn't want to stop.
I kind of don't even know where to begin when it comes to sharing all I loved about the book. The story itself is captivating. In all my reading years, I have actually never read a book about the Vietnam War. I've read a lot of books around the Civil War and WWII, but never Vietnam. So that caught me. Crowe did such a great job of sharing insights of each of the characters...so perfectly. Somehow I felt totally connected to this teenage boy. The things he carried and tried to deal with I have never experienced, yet, I was there with him. It was so well-written. I felt love and so much compassion for all of them, even when I was upset. And let's talk about emotions...I think I felt them all! I laughed. I seriously cried (on the treadmill...at the gym). I was frustrated and angry and hurt. I was so into this book.
I do that. I connect when I read. But this was particularly different. I think because the author made a genius move, in my opinion. The entire book is written in haiku. What?! Who in their right mind takes the time to do that? I can't even wrap my mind around taking the time to make the entire book work so perfectly like that. But it really made the story magical. Every word, I would assume, was so carefully chosen and placed. It really was beautiful...a work of art.
I can't say enough about this book. I've loved his other books, but I think this is my favorite. If I was still teaching in the classroom, I'd definitely use this as a part of my curriculum for it's study of history, social pressures and social "rules" of the time, issues then vs. now -- how they are different and the same, diction, poetry, imagery....I could go on.
It's among my favorite books in 2014.