Karen Laroux's Reviews > Too Far

Too Far by Rich Shapero
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's review
Jun 25, 2012

it was amazing
Read in June, 2012

Too Far is the sort of book you just have to give yourself over to. You can’t over-think it or analyze the style too much or you’ll miss the beauty. And the magic.

The book came with a CD of trippy music by Shapero and this amazing vocalist, Maria Taylor. Listening to the tracks while reading the novel really contributes to the overall feel of the story. There’s an iPad app available, too, but I don’t have an iPad. Yet.

I read Too Far twice. The first time I read it the dialogue tags and some of the vocabulary irked me. A couple of weeks later, though, I went back to the book because I couldn’t get a lot of the imagery out of my head.

There is one scene about two-thirds of the way in that is so compelling that I actually dreamed myself as one of the characters. It would be wrong for me to give too much away here (I despise readers with their spoiler alerts), so I’ll just say there is only one other writer who has had this sort of effect on me and that writer was Dostoevsky. When I read Crime and Punishment for my Great Books class, I dreamed it was me who killed the old lady, me running around in self-incriminating circles. With Too Far, I dreamed I was the character Robbie—and Hands, a dark and commanding God of the forest where much of the novel is set, appeared outside my bedroom window, inviting me to touch fire. Freaky stuff.

It’s also the sort of book that a writer can use for inspiration. Sometimes I like to use other people’s work: open a page at random, take a few lines, and then create my own piece. I found some real gems in Too Far such as, “There were forests of tiny antlers with bowls raised to collect blessings [ . . . ] mushroom caps were everywhere—apricot, lavender, and hot fudge brown.”

If you need summer reading suggestions, Too Far certainly makes the cut!


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