Friday, 6 December 2013
The First Phone Call from Heaven by Mitch Albom
An unusual idea opens this book. It is a little annoying though when a writer tries to emulate the sound of something - in this case the sound of a phone: Drrrrrunn. That's not what I think a ringing phone sounds like. I'd use Urrrrrrriingkhuk.
Of course, Tess misses the call, but it goes to answering machine and Tess's mother leaves a message. Funny thing is though, Mom's been dead for four years. She has something to tell her daughter. All this happens on page one. No time is wasted. No need to introduce the weather, a gun, a car, or a bed. Very little back story, only what is vital for the forward narrative: Mom's dead. What follows is lots of great dialogue that pushes the plot forward, reveals character and establishes tone. A refreshing change from some of the schlock I've been reviewing lately.
Oh, and in this case, as opening with a phone call is vital to the premise, it's forgiven.
First thing said:
Verdict: Cool (I want more)