- Fizzy Thoughts: The Flying Troutmans

The Flying Troutmans

Thursday, June 25, 2009

the flying troutmans 
The Flying Troutmans
Miriam Toews
October 2008
275 pages

Louise recently asked, “I love Miriam Toews and her quirky style - one of my fave books is A Complicated Kindness - and I have been thinking about getting The Troutmans-book, but reading about it on Amazon, it didn't really appeal to me at all. So, I am curious to know if it has got the Toews-flavor?”

Once upon a time, in a land far, far away, I was introduced to Miriam Toews.  Okay, not really.  But a couple of years when I was in Victoria, Canada, I did buy one of her books, A Complicated Kindness.  And, like Louise, I loved it.  It was quirky and different…a little out there, but then, I like out there.

More recently, I read another one of Toews‘ books, A Boy of Good Breeding.  This one ended up being a bit of a disappointment.  I thought the mayor was going to start offing people so he could preserve his town’s status as Canada’s smallest town.  Because that seemed like such a Toews-like thing to happen.  I still haven’t gotten over the disappointment.  So going into The Flying Troutmans I was 1 and 1 with her books.


I can happily report I’m now 2 and 1.  (2 being the wins column, for those of you who may not live with people who like to watch sporting events.)  I’m not sure that it’s equal to A Complicated Kindness, but the characters are original and it sort of reminded me of “Little Miss Sunshine”, which is an awesome movie.  (And I’m only making that connection because of the weird characters and a van and a road trip…the ending is in no way similar!)

Anyhoosie, back to the Troutmans.  Hattie is living the ex-pat life in Paris when all of a sudden her life turns to shit.  To begin with, she gets dumped.  Then she learns that her sister Min is in desperate need of either an intervention or a hospital stay, which means that Hattie will have to return to the States to take care of Min’s kids.  And Min’s kids are no picnic.  Teenage Logan is a budding juvenile delinquent, while his younger sister Thebes is, um, unique?  Creative?  Protective?  Kinda stinky because she hates to bathe? Aha…all of the above!  While Min recovers, Hattie comes up with the not-so-swell idea of a road trip to find Logan and Hattie’s dad.  To say that hilarity ensues wouldn’t really be true.  There’s some angst.  Some family bonding.  And much weirdness.

So yes, it does have the Toews flavor.  It might be a wee bit watered down, but I say go for it!  In paperback.  Or from the library.

7 comment(s):

rhapsodyinbooks said...

Good review! Sounds like lots of fun!

bermudaonion said...

I love quirky characters so this sounds really appealing to me.

Beth F said...

Sounds like a fun book. Thanks. I'll have to check my library.

Veens said...

I have not read any thing by the author really! But if i have to I will read the one you guys really loved! :) :)

Joanne said...

This sounds like a good summer read for me. I'm trying to make my list of cottage reading and I don't have very many fun, light-ish books.

Nymeth said...

I've seen other bloggers make the “Little Miss Sunshine” connection, and even though I know there are only a few similarities, it still makes me extra excited to read it :P

softdrink said...

Jill - thanks!

Kathy - Have you read her other books? She'll definitely appeal if you like quirk.

Beth - I'm still in shock that my library had this!

Veens - I'd start w/ A Complicated Kindness.

Jo - cottage reading?? It sounds lovely.

Nymeth - oh yay, I'm glad other people have made the connection, I was wondering if it was too out there.

In a real sense, people who have read good literature have lived more than people who cannot or will not read. It is not true that we have only one life to live; if we can read, we can live as many more lives and as many kinds of lives as we wish. ~S.I. Hayakawa

The World is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.
~St. Augustine

Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness.
~Mark Twain

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