Sunday, July 30, 2006

Hazard Zones by Keith Maillard

I just finished reading Hazard Zones, by Keith Maillard. I bought it at a used book store in Halifax, on the strength of another of his books, The Clarinet Polka. The Clarinet Polka was a rollercoaster of a book, and though I had some mixed feelings about it, on the whole I liked it quite a bit, in part because it dealt with a Polish American experience not all that distant from the Polish Canadian experience my family lived - my mother was born in Poland. Both books were set in the same fictional West Virginia town - but the characters are worlds apart.

Hazard Zones is a book about two characters who in different ways come to terms with their youth. It is nicely written and thoughtful - but at the same time, I didn't really empathize with the characters or the story in any really significant way. I would certainly recommend The Clarinet Polka over this one. I might try another of Mr. Maillard's novels down the road.

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