Saturday, September 24, 2011
Review The Underdog
By Markus Zusak
Source I own it
First sentence We were watching the telly when we decided to rob the dentist.
The Underdog, the first book in the Wolfe brother series, introduces us to Cameron and Ruben Wolfe.
I've been waiting a long time to get my hands on Zusak's first book. Thank goodness it was finally published in the US so I could read it. This being his first book, and the fact that Suey, another huge fan, wasn't as impressed with his writing in this one, had me leerily going into it. But still, this is Zusak we're talking about and while, yes, I love his entirely unique writing style, I adore his beautifully honest stories with their sweet messages even more. This little story doesn't have some huge event or a climactic ending, it doesn't have some whirling plot that keeps us turning pages but will be forgotten not long after the last page is read. It's about life, and the lessons we can glean from it. Sure, Cameron couldn't talk to girls and Ruben and he were pretty useless criminals. Sure Cameron doesn't get the girl and Ruben can't win at soccer; Steve gets hurt and Sarah loses her boyfriend, but the sweet lesson of Cameron's "underdog dream" seemed, to me, to be the whole point. Life is going to keep shoving you down, but you have to keep getting up and fighting back. I found myself just as touched and comforted reading this one as any of his others and I consider myself very lucky to have finally had the pleasure. Plus it had this little gem:
"...you don't learn anything unless you can find the patience to read." page 22
Cameron: I'm actually only going to mention Cameron because he is one of my top three favorite literary characters ever. I've never related with a character as much as I do with Cameron in all three of these Wolfe Brothers books. Love him!
Would I recommend it?