abatage's Reviews > The Ballad of Lee Cotton

The Ballad of Lee Cotton by Christopher Wilson
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Aug 05, 10

bookshelves: fiction
Read from August 03 to 05, 2010

It's nice to read something that manages to deliver a story that continuously surprises you on how far the reality of its plot is willing to go. As a tale, this book is a great read that flows well and is oddly believable for such a unique chain of events - but it's the execution that really makes it wonderful.

Without giving too much away - the narrator tells the story of their life, which inevitably involves some fundamental shifts and transformations along the way. What surprised me was how well the writer has managed to alter the voice of the book to suit each change to the character. You end up drifting along with the workings of Lee's mind and the language, tone, perspective and everything else shifts along with Lee's life.

This adaptable and evolving nature of the narration makes for a vastly different read than if it were told from a static voice - and the book is all the better for it.

Sure there were some parts that were a bit too ambiguous for me to find my feet (I've never been good at making assumptions and sticking to them), but it adds to the mystery and uncertainty of it all. In a way, Lee's telling of the story questions a bit of trust over whether the tale is honest or not, but due to the integrity drawn from the attention to voice throughout, this mystery is alleviated enough to believe.

However, any thoughts on what could have been done differently seem wasted as the book does a fine job, just the way it is. Plus, despite the minute attention to delivery, it reads easily and never seems to get bogged down with trying to prove itself.

Worth a look.
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08/03/2010 page 31
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