Tuesday, December 4, 2012

No Other Way: A Book Review

Image Courtesy of B&N

Book

Title: No Other Way
Author: Roger Real Drouin

Guess what, I know a real-life, bonafide, published author! His name is Roger Real Drouin & he has officially busted into the publishing world with this full-length novel. Sure, it came out in June. Yes, it took me six months to read it in between assignments & other things that clutter my life these days. But I got my hands on it & kept reading it & tweeting about it until I finished.

I actually talked to Roger last Sunday about the book a little bit. He was surprized at the awesome stuff he wrote and forgot about, but I will never forget it (mostly because I highlighted & took digital notes in my kindle & sent them to evernote after tweeting them). I look forward to broadcasting a full-length interview with him on my podcast (which has now been given it's own page on the blog, see the crossbar on top).

Technical Merit

Drouin was described in an Amazon review as Hemmingway-esque. By this, I assume the reviewer was referring to Roger's attention to detail. He describes some of the most mundane aspects of life--like getting a cup of coffee--with painstaking detail, reverence and awe. While reading, you may notice some of the nuances of life in a way you never considered them before. He holds true to this style throughout the book.

I had a little bit of trouble following some of the characters early on. After a few chapters, I got them straight & could focus more on what they were actually saying & feeling. For that reason, I give No Other Way a 3.5 on my 5-point scale for Technical Merit.


Review

That being said, amid the detail and description, brilliance can also be found. When I read longer works, what I (personally) look for are lucid moments where either a character or an omniscient narrator makes an observation that transcends the novel & is applicable to life. This story, framed around a potential environmental catastrophe, has several of those moments. A few of my favorite quotes are as follows:

On Faith

Some people had faith in things they grew attached to, or could claim ownership over. That wasn't true faith, was it? Was faith the very thing that made us reckless?
On Points of View
Awe and solitude are the two most immense points of view, and here they were the same.
On Long Shots
Hell, everything worth anything is a long shot. 
On the Dangers of Ignorance
The ones who won't listen will be the ones to say why didn't someone warn us. Maybe then they'll realize: Hey, there was a warning, they were trying to warn us... 
I always assumed Roger was a South Florida boy like me. I know he attended Florida Atlantic University (I have forgiven him for that), but the following quote is For Us Floridians:

The northerners would say there are no seasons in South Florida... But Ryan could feel those seasonal changes, and he came to love those subtle variations. Now in early March, the breeze was almost the same, except you could feel how it had lost its coolness, and smell how everything was about to bloom.

Takeaway


Mr. Drouin wrote an excellent novel that transcends the basic story of a bird-photographer & park ranger versus a gas company. He delves into real issues like Faith, Awe, Wonder, Knowledge, Ethics & how those principles manifest themselves in real life.


This is a strong first novel for Roger Real Drouin & I heartily recommend it to anyone who appreciates nature & a good read. I am saddened by the fact that I probably would not have had the pleasure of reading this book if I did not know Roger on a personal level. I look forward to more material from desk of Mr. Drouin & hope my readers will also look into this excellent author.

More Reading

You can connect with Roger Real Drouin on the following channels!


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