Correction Line: A Book Review.

24 11 2012

Charles Henry Editing has started a weekly book review and the debut novel Correction Line has started us off strong.

I’ll admit it; I do not like most books. As a professional editor reading for enjoyment is difficult because it is my job to pick apart a book and correct the flaws. Correction Line quickly ameliorated my fears and took me on a wild ride across the American west to find what connected a duo of hit men, a spiritual hippie, and a traveling book salesman as they crisscrossed the barren recesses of the American landscape. The book was gritty and violent without being crass. The rugged, craggy nature of the landscape was realistic and beautiful. The characters were lovable in their loneliness and I couldn’t help but want to follow their respective journeys to the end.

This book is about enjoying the many disparate journeys’ converging after many missed connections. So, if you want to know to always know where you’re headed and what is happening Correction Line will be difficult to digest. Half the time, I could not easy identify how things were going to work out; and was continually disappointed when the characters didn’t connect in the way I had thought they woul

What made me keep reading? The beauty of the writing.  Underlying the violent, lonely images is an undercurrent of romanticism. Like when watching a Clint Eastwood movie, you come to watch the violence; you stay to watch whether the hero will get the girl. In this case, I was curious to watch the intimate relationship between Lucy and Roy unfolds. I was drawn to the charismatic, dangerous and oddly soothing personality of the primary antagonist, Dave. I wanted to understand what was happening just like the characters did and that is the most brilliant element of Correction Line.  Craig Terlson’s genius is that the reader is a character in the book- we get to go on a journey, we get to try to figure it out what is going on, and we get to feel the disappointment of a missed connection, and the triumph when things finally work out the way we wanted.

Is the story perfect? No, just like any road trip there are confusing moments, stretches of narration that are long and arduous, and there is always the nagging feeling of wanting to get to the destination. Sometimes the reader is left wondering ‘what is the point of the story?’ If you can suspend your desire to know the destination and just resign yourself to enjoy the ride, this is one road trip you won’t want to miss.




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