Erin's Reviews > Moloka'i

Moloka'i by Alan Brennert
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I was watching a high speed car chase on television yesterday and something ACTUALLY HAPPENED. This is amazing, because Los Angeles probably generates about 3 high speed car chases a week and they are all INCREDIBLY BORING. This is because there is approximately 2353459845 miles of high way in Los Angeles and all of it is full of cars, all the time, making the general highest speed for a high speed car chase about, ohhhhh.... 20 mph.

(I guess that technically means there's actually about 2353459845 miles of parking lot in LA, but whatever.)

The point is, usually the perp pulls onto a crowded highway, runs into a barrier/off the shoulder/into thousands of stopped cars, and is immediately apprehended. You always know what is going to happen.

That's pretty much how I felt about this book when I picked it up. It even felt heavy in my hands, like I knew I was holding one of those car wrecks you can't take your eyes off. Did I really want to spend the next six hour flight sniffling into my 2 ply Southwest Airlines napkin?

I was hooked on the leprosy colony thing, though. Leprosy is a fascinating disease, and I'm not trying to sound like bad dialogue from one of the CSI spinoffs. It's a disease that takes away your nerve endings. Imagine breaking a toe and not being able to feel it--- so you just keep walking on it till it falls off. Whoa.

Plus lepers were always running around in the Bible during my childhood sunday school lessons, and since I was a little confused on the terminology, I spent grades kindergarten through 3rd thinking lepers were people with canes who farmed "LEmon PEppER". Thanks Bobby Chris. If I ever meet you again I'm going to punch you in the face for feeding me that.

Anyway, time to rectify the situation. I know the style of writing was dry for some (the term "plodding" consistently comes to mind when I try to think of a summary for the pace) but I think it served the author's purpose. He wanted to accurately represent the history of the colony and the people in it, through the eyes of one fictitious character. That's challenging. Sometimes it read like a list of death, but I understood, from the very beginning... this car wreck is involves an incurable and deforming disease, and as such, bad thing after bad thing is going to happen, till the very, inevitable, end.

That's why I didn't expect so much hope from the book. It wasn't one of those, "on the edge of your seat, is she gonna find a miracle cure" type books. It simply held moments of day-to-day triumph that I found very personable, realistic, and bittersweet.

The back of the cover of this book had a summary that said something like "Moloka'i proves that people find the best of life in any situation" or some bullshit like that, but I didn't find the book anywhere as overbearing in terms of beating you over the head with morals. It was refreshing in that the author was just trying to tell you one person's life story, complete with all its flaws, and in all its glory. I came away with a lot to think about.

Oh, and by the way, that car chase. Dudes, you would not BELIEVE. So I turn on the TV and this red bronco is pulling off the highway into a residential area during rush hour, around a SCHOOL. I'm thinking, whoa, finally a smart car chase-person-running-from-the-law... you got off the highway, and yet will now possibly commit manslaughter of several minors. Then I'm thinking... whoa... that's... near my house. Of course I can't pull away now.

He drives by schools. He drives on the wrong side of the road. You know it's going to happen (on live tv! OMG) and then... it happens! BAM! Right into a honda in the middle of an intersection... and then, this fat cholo claws his way out of the bronco! No way! Dude, are you seriously going to run into the backyard of that house while 3 dozen helicopters are tracking the light reflecting off your bald shiny head? Also, is that backyard near mine? Also, if it is, maybe the annoying rat-dog next door will get caught in the crossfire!

He then proceeds to pull someone out of the car they are vacuuming in their driveway, and forces them to take off all their clothes so he can put them on! BUT HE CAN'T FIT! Seriously, where are the cops? Meanwhile the entire KCLA network is watching this guy trying to put on a black shirt and look casual, walking down the block with his arm stuck in the neck hole. It was awesome.

No, seriously.

Ok fine. But it was still better than "Two and A Half Men". Which, sadly resumed after they caught the guy. Which left me thinking two things: 1) If the news helicopters are following the guy better than the police, maybe we should just give the camera guys machine guns. Now that would make for much better prime time news coverage. 2) How is that show, nevertheless Charlie Sheen, STILL ON TV?!?!?!!

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Reading Progress

Finished Reading
January 29, 2009 – Shelved

Comments Showing 1-7 of 7 (7 new)

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message 1: by Erin (new) - added it

Erin hahahaha... wow.

sorry, i don't usually try to reply just to awesome comments, because that would be vain, or something.

but that is the funniest and nicest thing anyone has ever said about my reviews.

also, what in the world have you been reading?!?! *goes to check your book page*


message 2: by Sarah (new)

Sarah Shoemaker I wish there were a dislike button.

Cassie Best.Review.Ever.

message 4: by Ashleigh (new)

Ashleigh I'm not sure this review is helpful as much as a ramble, its really a discredit to the book and belongs on a blog not goodreads.

message 5: by Erin (last edited Nov 04, 2015 07:34AM) (new) - added it

Erin Ashleigh wrote: "I'm not sure this review is helpful as much as a ramble, its really a discredit to the book and belongs on a blog not goodreads."

Hi Ashleigh,
It turns out Goodreads is a social media networking site about books. You can put whatever you want on it, including your grammatically correct but misguided opinion about what ANOTHER person's opinion of a book is. So, go wild!

message 6: by Erin (new) - added it

Erin Oh Caris. I've missed you. Time for some good old fashioned internet stalking.

message 7: by Lance (new)

Lance Haley Erin -

Great review. Even better L.A. Car chase narrative. You need to start a "L.A. Car Chase" blog. Too funny. I was thoroughly entertained by your descriptions of the chase as it unfolded. Please do more car chase reviews...

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