With the 26 Books to Read in 2015 Challenge taking up a lot of my time, I haven’t done my Surprise Smekday Meme in a while. I’ve just been letting books fall by the wayside (or kicking them to the curb) without even acknowledging that I’ve given them a try. In case you’re new or can’t remember the last Smekday or just have no idea what I’m talking about, click here.
Jamie Kornegay’s novel Soil, though, deserves a mention. It’s been on my coffee table for over a month. It was briefly on my nightstand. It rode around in my bookbag for a few days. I kept telling it, “Soon! Right after my book club book is done” or “Soon, I promise, but I need to get another zombie story in for my Halloween prep!” and “Sorry I only had time for a page, I need to leave for work!”
This book has been patient and uncomplaining. It’s so forgiving that it immediately pulls me in whenever I do get a chance to pick it up, with its evocative writing that grips you from the get-go, its haunting atmosphere even two chapters in, and a story all about a descent into madness and paranoia.
I heard about this book last month on NPR’s All Things Considered, and it sounded great. It is great. The sense of place, the setup, the main character. All of it is shaping up to be a wonderful book. The story is about a man, abandoned by his wife and son after becoming obsessed over agricultural improvements, finds a dead body on his property. Already paranoid, he assumes he’s being framed for murder. So instead of calling the authorities, he decides to get rid of the body himself.
Sorry, Soil. I really do like you and I think this is a real shame and I really really promise I’ll check you out again. Sometime. Later. Not sure when.
If this description appeals to you, do give Soil a try and give it the attention it deserves. I failed this poor novel badly.