Thursday, 30 January 2014

Last Bus to Coffeeville

Last Bus to Coffeeville by J. Paul Henderson follows Doc upon his journey to fulfil his college sweetheart Nancy's last request: to help her die before her Alzheimer's worsens.

I wanted so much to like this book. It has a dark sense of humour, and a old folk story vibe.  However, the charm can only last so long.  Too much space is given over to minor characters histories. I was okay learning all about Nancy, Doc and Bob.  I was sort of okay reading about Doc's godson and his troubles at the news station. But once I reached the section about Eric's parents, and then Eric's parent's friends, my patience ran out.  Superfluous not only in the words compacted into sentences, but in sentences packed into chapters, for me Last Bus...could have benefited from a major edit.  There was no focus, and you know it's bad when the main event, the main plot of the story mentioned in the blurb, still hasn't happened 200 pages in.

I understand that the author was trying to fit in everything synonymous with America throughout the decades (small village life, war, secret government missions, the secret life of the neighbour, race issues, cult issues, cuba, etc etc.).  However, he was so concerned about packing all this in that the main focus - a friend helping another to carry out her wishes - got lost, and that is a real shame.

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