Large Print Reviews
One D.O.A., One on the Way
By Mary Robison
Reviewed by Angela Evans - November 13, 2009
Set in New Orleans about thirty months after Hurricane Katrina, One D.O.A., One on the Way is a novel by Mary Robison. The story is told in 225 short, jagged chapters interspersed with factoid lists on just about everything from how gun holster's have been designed for the comfort of the wearer to the number of former New Orleans Police Officers who are on death row. Throughout the language used is authentic and raw, and the imagery is almost tactile in nature. Be forewarned, there is strong and coarse language in this book that may not be suitable for all readers.
The story itself focuses on Eve Broussard, a film location scout who married into money. Adam, her husband, is dying from a Hepatitis C infection, and his family still lives in a New Orleans mansion and act as if everything is normal, despite the fact that the Big Easy has been disintegrating ever since Hurricane Katrina washed onshore and all around them people are living one the edge. To complicate matters, Eve is having an affair with Saunders, Adam's twin brother. As the story unfolds, Robison paints a gritty picture of life in modern day New Orleans as she chronicles the collapse of Eve's marriage.
The dialog in this story is sparse, with the bulk of the story simply narrated by Eve. Her observations of her own life and the events unfolding around her are astute and often witty, and readily draw you into the story. One D.O.A., One on the Way is a very fast read. In fact, the book reads more like a novella than a full-fledged novel, but be prepared to read this book more than once. You are likely to race through it the first time simply to enjoy the story, and then go through again, at a more leisurely pace, to discover the nuances of this unique and strangely disquieting novel.
Robison has written a number of novels, including Days, Oh!, An Amateur's Guide to the Night, Believe Them, Subtraction, and Why Did I Ever. She is also the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, two Pushcart Prizes, an O. Henry Award, and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Fiction. Fans of her earlier books will read this one with relish. At the same time, those new to her work may be initially put off by her experimental writing style. If they persevere, they will find this a mesmerizing tale that will leave them eager to read more of Robinson's books.
One D.O.A., One on the
Way is available from Read How You Want, an on-demand publisher that makes books available in a variety of formats including Braille, DAISY, and five different large print formats that range from 16-24 point fonts. This range of formats makes this, and other books, available to not only visually impaired individuals, but also anyone with a reading or physical disability that makes reading standard print books difficult.
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