Stephanie's Reviews > Idaho Winter

Idaho Winter by Tony Burgess
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May 15, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: first-reads
Recommended to Stephanie by: goodread's firsts
Read from June 13 to 16, 2011 — I own a copy

...“It's strange to sleep. Sleep is a mysterious thing even in the simplest of people. When you're sleepy, you seem to be getting sick, losing energy, losing clear thought, lying down out of weakness. Then you succumb to the weakness and what happens next resembles death. And then you dream. You abide in a world whose rules are hidden even from you ¬¬– you who create it.”...

Have you ever woken up from a crazy fun dream that you quickly discovered was inexplicable? In fact, upon trying to explain it, you realize this fantastical dream was more of a horror story. Idaho Winter is such a book.
In the beginning, it is hard to wrap your head around the plot line, let alone the main character: Idaho Winter. You have been already been lead astray by the cover of the book. The front looks like a beaten worn copy of a book written/illustrated back in the 1950’s. It almost looks like a scene from “It’s a Wonderful Life”- a boy is rescuing another boy who has fallen through the ice on a lake. The cover looks heartwarming and inspiring. A book you want to share with your young sons.
The back cover is just as misleading as the front. The back is just a picture of the back of the ‘supposed’ 1950’s front cover. Nevertheless, the synopsis on the back is simple and just as inspiring as the front. This is supposed to be a book about a boy who discovers he has the power to not only overcome persecution of his classmates, but the power to destroy everything. Typical. Normal. A standard for today’s juvenile literature. Right? Wrong!
The opening scene is reminiscent of Harry Potter. I was immediately unimpressed. I never heard of Tony Burgess and thought maybe he was “ripping off” J.K. Rowling. The scenes grew more horrific and disgusting. Maybe Burgess was just taking Harry Potter to a depth of repugnance and revulsion that I can barely stand. I was getting confused and more disgusted as each sentence passed. As a reader with some morals, I was beyond horrified at the cruelty to the main character, a young boy. I was about ready to throw the book in the trash and not finish it.

...“Maybe I went a bit too far, but that’s what people want now. There’s an expectation that children be treated poorly in their literature. Everyone wants to see children treated badly. So that … well, so that when they triumph over evil we all feel lifted up. It’s inspirational.”...

Then a change occurred. The narrator spoke. I mean the narrator was all of a sudden a character. Confessions were made, explanations given for the storyline, things changed.

...“If I told you that everything about you had been just made up by someone, that all of your thoughts, all of your memories, even the things you chose to say had been invented and that they weren’t real, that you weren’t real, would you believe me? I don’t think so.”...

Soon the main character, Idaho Winter, was in control of the story plot. Things soon took a turn for the craziest plotline I have read. I began to accept the direction of the story as I would my dreams. I was soon sucked into the plot and began to see the creative genius in the madness of it all. By the end, I was ready to have it end; as I would many of my own dreams. But I had to skim back through and see the creative ingenuity of the writing and plot.
I’m still thinking about it. It is almost like a guide on how to write a good, interesting, solid, book. This may hold the key elements necessary in writing; aspects that are essential in a story writing. Because without them you end up with craziness; like this book or like our brain when it produces dreams.

...“It’s my job really, to help you, my reader, in accepting things as real that aren’t. Most books try to get you to accept things that, at the very least, could be real – and that’s difficult enough, goodness knows – but here, in this book, nothing seems to be even trying to be real. Except, I would say, me. I’m here, I’m real. And to be honest, I’ve never been here before. I don’t know where I am, I don’t know what I’m doing. In some ways, I’m afraid this is the most real story I’ve ever written.”...

If this book isn’t a guide to writing a book, or a warning example to be careful when you write, then it may just be that Tony Burgess is an avant-gardist who knows how to step to the edge and still keep his readers from falling into absolute confusion or disinterest!

...“They stay like this, in silence, both aware that they have created something together. Defiance. A pushing back of a darkness that no one has ever pushed at before. A wonderful, criminal liberty to love that which has been so viciously called unlovable.”...

----I received the book for free through Goodreads First Reads.----
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Quotes Stephanie Liked

Tony Burgess
“It's strange to sleep. Sleep is a mysterious thing even in the simplest of people. When you're sleepy, you seem to be getting sick, losing energy, losing clear thought, lying down out of weakness. Then you succumb to the weakness and what happens next resembles death. And then you dream. You abide in a world whose rules are hidden even from you - you who create it.”
Tony Burgess, Idaho Winter

Tony Burgess
“There is a heavy price to pay for writing a bad book.”
Tony Burgess, Idaho Winter

Tony Burgess
“Maybe I went a bit too far, but that’s what people want now. There’s an expectation that children be treated poorly in their literature. Everyone wants to see children treated badly. So that … well, so that when they triumph over evil we all feel lifted up. It’s inspirational.”
Tony Burgess, Idaho Winter

Tony Burgess
“It’s my job really, to help you, my reader, in accepting things as real that aren’t. Most books try to get you to accept things that, at the very least, could be real – and that’s difficult enough, goodness knows – but here, in this book, nothing seems to be even trying to be real. Except, I would say, me. I’m here, I’m real. And to be honest, I’ve never been here before. I don’t know where I am, I don’t know what I’m doing. In some ways, I’m afraid this is the most real story I’ve ever written.”
Tony Burgess, Idaho Winter

Tony Burgess
“They stay like this, in silence, both aware that they have created something together. Defiance. A pushing back of a darkness that no one has ever pushed at before. A wonderful, criminal liberty to love that which has been so viciously called unlovable.”
Tony Burgess, Idaho Winter

Tony Burgess
“If I told you that everything about you had been just made up by someone, that all of your thoughts, all of your memories, even the things you chose to say had been invented and that they weren’t real, that you weren’t real, would you believe me? I don’t think so.”
Tony Burgess, Idaho Winter


Reading Progress

06/13/2011 page 32
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