Saturday 21 August 2010

Review: The news where you are - Catherine O'flynn

Genre: Fiction
Pages: 240
Published: July 2010 Holt paperbacks

From the bestselling author of What Was Lost comes a spirited literary mystery about a television anchorman's search for the truth about the disappearances that surround him

Frank Allcroft, a television news anchor in his hometown (where he reports on hard-hitting events, like the opening of canine gyms for overweight pets), is on the verge of a mid-life crisis. Beneath his famously corny on-screen persona, Frank is haunted by loss: the mysterious hit-and-run that killed his predecessor and friend, Phil, and the ongoing demolition of his architect father's monumental postwar buildings. And then there are the things he can't seem to lose, no matter how hard he tries: his home, for one, on the market for years; and the nagging sense that he will never quite be the son his mother—newly ensconced in an assisted-living center—wanted.

As Frank uncovers the shocking truth behind Phil's death, and comes to terms with his domineering father's legacy, it is his beloved young daughter, Mo, who points him toward the future.

Catherine O'Flynn is a great writer, she transforms small things into a good piece of fiction. Nothing major happened, but there was great writing, and I do like great writing.

This is the story about Frank, a news anchor who has been in the business for 20 years. He likes where he is and never wanted to be bigger. He is also a joke, a man famous for bad one-liners. Something that he inherited from his mentor and friend, but he never did get them right. Now Phil is dead, in a strange accident. And Frank is left with his strange hobby as his wife calls is, going to funerals of people who had no one else coming.

Frank is a good guy, he likes his job (ok not the crap jokes), but he is a solid guy. He loves his wife and cute little daughter. And he searches for lost relatives for those people who have died without any family showing up. His mum seems constantly depressed, but he visits her. But there is something sad over him, perhaps cos if his search through out the book. But that will change too.

The book uses flashbacks to show some clues, Michaels past (the guy whose relatives he is trying to find), some moments from Phil's past, before his death and earlier, and lastly Frank's past. His dad who was always working and his mum who had good and bad days.

Life in general, and a search for that which is lost is what this book is about.  From people gone, to his dad's buildings being torn down to make new for new ones. And the last sentence of the book tells you everything:
"Our absence is what remains of us."

It's beautiful and sad at the same time.

She has a way of telling is straight, but there is also a subtle humour in this book. A strange book, and a completely normal book at the same time. What I am left with is that she writes great fiction, easy fiction, and fiction that should be noticed.

Blodeuedd's Cover Corner: Ok boring, but then a book like this should have something like that as a cover.
Reason for reading: From the publisher.
Final thoughts: I do like my genres, and sometimes I need an author who can write beautiful prose, saying a lot, or saying nothing, and she is good. I sometimes like books cos of the story, sometimes for the written word, and this time it was the latter.
Final grade: 4


  1. You can tell from the synopsis that this is something special even if nothing really big happens.

  2. How you describe her writing is reminding me of another author, but I can't figure out who!

  3. Ladytink,
    Good books doesn't need anything big to happen to be good :=D

    Lol, I don't know either ;) Perhaps you'll remember

  4. I've never read any of her work. Sounds interesting!

  5. This book has intrigued me since the first time I read about it. Your review makes me want to read it soon!

  6. Lori,
    She was good, and I will read her first novel too.

    Do read it, I really liked her voice

  7. Hey Sweetie,

    Hummm, I might have to buy this one and read it for meself!

    Good review!

  8. I think going to funerals of people that have no one there for them is good karma. I like how you wrote your review with the comparisons and little bit of this but a little of that too. Thanks for the recommendation.

  9. Jenny
    That is good karma indeed, I liked that about him.
    A little bit of this and that, gotta check my review again to see what you mean :)

  10. Oh I agree, I do like great writing!

    I've been away, but back now --- sorry to have disappeared but I thought I would have Internet access. No such luck!

    Great review.

    Good to be back :)

  11. I'm planning on reading this one in a couple of weeks so I am so glad to see you liked it so much because I was unsure if I would from the synopsis! You make it sound quite lovely!

  12. Great to have you back Sassy :) I did wonder where you suddenly went.
    And yes great writing is just so, well great, lol

    I hope you'll like it. It was different, but there was just something about the way she wrote

  13. Thanks - great to be back. It's surprising how much I've missed everyone!


  14. Sassy
    Aww :)
    Fun to have you back

  15. Nice review. This books sounds good - something I would like I think.



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