Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Book Review - Cutter's Bizaar

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And now for something different--Cutter'sBizaar. It is perhaps fitting that the first chapter of this literary coming of age novel is a dream occurring at some unclear moment later in Frank Cutter's life, because the last chapter brings us full circle to the promise the opening reveals about his life, and what the future holds on this continuing journey. The story arc runs true.

Throughout the novel, his dreams (apparitions) paint pictures of the critical points in his journey from a wise-beyond-his-years, 15-year-old cowboy in Wyoming to a fashion photographer of international notoriety by age 25. His innate talent lies in an uncanny ability to get models to project what he needs for a successful shoot, becoming the equivalent of the horse whisperer to the models. And the exact nature of the talent is elusive to me, just as Howard Roark's ability to design buildings of unique beauty in "The Fountainhead" never fully formed in my mind. Is it coincidence that Cutter's tragically-doomed mentor was named Roark? I don't think so. If a talent like Roark's or Cutter's was so easy, we too would know it when we saw it, and most cannot see nor embrace it.

The narration-heavy story has an elusive plot that the reader must work at, which involves Cutter's search for true (perfect) love. Some strong language and sexual situations infuse his journey; however, they are not gratuitous. The writing is clean and uncluttered, and there is a calmness in the voice that invites you along, even when horrific things happens in Cutter's life. I can see action-oriented people grumbling, "Boring," and at times I wished Cutter had not have kept me at arm's length, not letting me in any more than he let many of the people in his life. In sum, it is a very good read and a solid 4 from me. Full disclosure: I was given a copy of the book for a review.


Shelia said...

It's amazing to read multiple reviews of the same book as each reviewer "sees" something different. I enjoyed your perspective especially the part about the writer not allowing Cutter to get too close to the other characters in the story nor the reader. I wonder if the author did that deliberately.

Rick Bylina said...

Good books with multi-layer ideas do insight different people to see different things.