Laura's Reviews > Daniel Fights a Hurricane

Daniel Fights a Hurricane by Shane Jones
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's review
Aug 02, 2012

Read in July, 2012

If you were going to characterize the main character of this slight novel as insane (which Shane Jones hopes you won't), then he is probably psychotic rather than anxious. The image of the hurricane in the first 100 pages (or half) of the book worked well for me though as a metaphor for an anxious mind. The story of Daniel reads like a parable, leaving me as a reader trying constantly to figure out what things were meant to represent, and coming up short again and again. The narrative shifts between the story of Daniel, a pipeline worker with an intense fear of an oncoming Hurricane, as he leaves his job and eventually leaves reality to populate his own world of strange characters and underground pipelines. In the meantime, his ex-wife Karen searches for him, providing, with her narrative, a sort of baseline for the reader who is trying (if that reader is me) desperately to ground herself.

The book made me feel crazy. I wanted to make sense of it somehow, but the symbols and narratives kept shifting and changing, like a Hurricane -- which is pretty brilliant, but not for me. I've seen it described as surrealist, and would myself categorize it as magical realism (which I never really "get"). It is also heavily laden with symbolic significance, which I grew tired of by the end. I was much more interested in the real world than the one created by Daniel, and unfortunately, that imaginary world took over more and more as the novelette progressed.

Jones' book wasn't for me, but might appeal to fans of surrealism or magical realism, or fans of his other works (which I will probably still try).

**I received an electronic copy of this book for review from the publisher.
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