Sunday, August 7, 2011

Rotters by Daniel Kraus

Summary (from Goodreads): Grave-robbing. What kind of monster would do such a thing? It's true that Leonardo da Vinci did it, Shakespeare wrote about it, and the resurrection men of nineteenth-century Scotland practically made it an art. But none of this matters to Joey Crouch, a sixteen-year-old straight-A student living in Chicago with his single mom. For the most part, Joey's life is about playing the trumpet and avoiding the daily humiliations of high school.

Everything changes when Joey's mother dies in a tragic accident and he is sent to rural Iowa to live with the father he has never known, a strange, solitary man with unimaginable secrets. At first, Joey's father wants nothing to do with him, but once father and son come to terms with each other, Joey's life takes a turn both macabre and exhilarating.

Daniel Kraus's masterful plotting and unforgettable characters make Rotters a moving, terrifying, and unconventional epic about fathers and sons, complex family ties, taboos, and the ever-present specter of mortality.

Review: Rotters was a fantastic read.  Full of unique characters and ideas, it was a very enjoyable book. I really enjoyed the amount of detail that was put into the story. Daniel Kraus incorporated many interesting stories about the history of grave robbing. You can tell that Kraus put a lot of time and effort into his research for this book.

I also enjoyed the protagonist, Joey Crouch. It was interesting to see how his life changed dramatically after meeting his father. The character development was terrific in this novel. Kraus's writing style was so brilliant that he always had me rethinking my support of Joey. Sometimes I was rooting for him, and other times I couldn't stand him.

I think my one problem with this book is the size of it. It's almost 500 pages long, which is necessary for some books, but not this one. I felt that the plot would have moved along at a much faster pace if the book was 50 to 100 pages shorter.

Overall, the book was great. the plot twists did an excellent job of keeping my interest. This book was amazingly unpredictable and highly enjoyable.

You can order a copy of Rotters here.

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