Monday, March 31, 2008

Book Review: The Man on the Roof by Steve Rasnic Tem and Melanie Tem

Every Monday, I'll be doing spoiler-free, bite sized book reviews.

I found The Man on the Roof to be bizarre, not because of its content but rather due to the form and structure in which the narrative is told. It seems to break many of the rules of fiction, especially the "fiction" part as it reads more like an essay, yet it is nonetheless compelling. The Tems confess their lives and their fears into this novel and in the process create something unique and different from what we normally see in fiction. Even the horror aspect of this book is unconventional although no less frightening (especially if you're a parent). Collaboration between the Tems are effective and seamless in The Man on the Roof as the format supports them perfectly. The writing is easy to comprehend and the Tems are often quite direct, telling rather than showing. However, those looking for a conventional story will be disappointed. Steve Rasnic Tem and Melanie Tem stretches not only genre conventions but literary conventions as well. If you're the type that's afraid to experiment and what constitutes a novel, this might not be the book for you.

Rating: 3/5.

Rating System:

1 - There are better ways to spend your time.
2 - Ho hum books, usually typical of its genre. Probably only recommendable to die-hard fans.
3 - A cut above the rest, usually with one or more elements that sets it apart from the norm.
4 - Highly recommended and is easily a pioneer of the genre.
5 - A classic or it will be.

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