Friday, March 21, 2008

Andrew Peterson "On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness"

When I found out that I has obtained the privilege of reviewing my good buddy and favorite singer/songwriter Andrew Peterson’s first novel On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness, I thought, “What better way to gain insight than to interview the man himself.” For those of you who don’t know AP, you need to listen to his music, it is utter brilliance. Little did I know what would follow would be AP interviewing me on my thoughts on the book. Enjoy

Me: AP, whats going on man? You have been busy with a new record and now this brilliant new book, I loved it.

AP: Oh yea? Glad to hear it. How did you find time to read it? I hear you are pretty busy over there in Rome.

Me: Well, I got into it on my free day and, well, I couldn’t put it down. Cruised through 200 pages in a day.

AP: I know what I think of it, and what my publishers think, but what would you say the plot is, in your own words… and don’t give away any spoilers.

Me: Here goes… In the once-quiet lang of Skree, Janner Igiby, little brother Tink, and crippled sister Leeli stumble upon the secret of the lost jewels of the mysterious King of the Shining Isle of Anniera. But Gnag the Nameless seeks the treasure for evil ends, so the brave trio and their trusty dog nugget and ex-pirate grandfather must escape Gnag and his minion Fangs, who are sort of like lizard-people. The fantastical world that is created (called Aerwiar) is full of unique characters, strange creatures, and adventure.

AP: You stole that straight from the publicity pack, didn't you?

Me: Yea, but they did a pretty good job of describing it.

AP: Ok, more questions about what you thought. When did you know you were going to like the book?

Me: First page. I don’t laugh out loud often while reading, but I busted out laughing at your tongue-in-cheek style. The first line I think I laughed out loud at was, “That evil was a nameless evil, an evil whose name was Gnag the Nameless.” That style continues throughout the book, even in the footnotes and descriptions of animals: ex. a ratbadger is “as big as a young meep, which is about the size of a full-grown chorkney, an animal that stands about as tall as a flabbit.” I mean, honestly, were you laughing when you wrote that, thinking "they have no idea what I am talking about and come to think about it, I really don't either."

AP: It was fun to invent that stuff. What did you think of the creatures or the world I created?

Me: You have to suspend believability, just like in Narnia or The Lord of the Rings, but the details that you describe the culture and people in painted the picture in my mind of what it was like. Also, brilliant job with the fake footnotes, citing books from this place and weird facts. Loved it.

AP: Favorite footnote?

Me: Actually my favorite one was one that subtly teaches a serious lesson. “Many Skreeans doubted that the legendary Isle of Anniera existed at all. It is a sad truth that some people only believe that something exists if they can see it with their own eyes. Bandy Impstead, for example, had argued for hours in Shaggy’s Tavern one evening that there was no such thing as the wind for this very reason. His roof was torn off in a storm that very winter. Bandy’s mind, however, remained unchanged.” I thought that was a strong, without being preachy, pointer towards faith.

AP: Yea, I tried not to throw lessons out like the point of the book was to teach a bible lesson. It is an adventure, a story to capture the reader, but the best stories are the ones that have truth wrapped up in them.

Me: Ah truth. My favorite passage in the book was when Janner says “It makes me think of when it snows outside, and the fire is warm, and Podo is telling us a story while you’re cooking, and there’s no place I’d rather be – but for some reason I still feel…homesick.” I thought that was beautiful and I know for certain exactly what the character means by that.

AP: Any other favorite lines or parts?

Me: “Part of being a man is taking much care of those you love.” The fact that you have the title of a fictional book as “I came and I Wept Like the Sissy I Am” cracked me up. Honestly, the problem was that I laughed and loved too many parts of this book. I began to read it as a book reviewer but was soon caught up in the story and forgot to make notes about what I was reading. So I guess I would need to read it again to make an official book review.

AP: Fair enough. What would you consider the writing style similar to?

Me: It seems to me like you are influenced heavily by Tolkien, CS Lewis, maybe even the Redwall series or Lemony Snicket. It is accessible like Lewis but with a better sense of humor, in the style of Lemony Snicket. Honestly, I could see this becoming huge, especially with the success in this genre. You get my vote.

AP: Did you know I originally came up with a lot of this telling my kids bedtime stories?

Me: No, I didn’t. Can you tell me some bedtime stories?

AP: Naw, cause I would probably give away what’s in the books to come.

Me: Well, I gotta run, thanks for your time. I thoroughly enjoyed the book, the action, the adventure, the humor. Thank’s for the privilege of reviewing this.

AP: Hey no worries, thanks for calling. Take care.

For those who are wondering, the preceding interview was completely fictional and represents my views alone. AP is a cool guy though, and I thought this would be a little more fun than a typical book review. My contest to win the extra copy of the book is this; email me your name and address to AND leave a comment below. If you do this, I will draw the winner out of a hat. Much Love


Sarah said...

Interesting way to write a book review. It does sound like an interesting book. Hope the spring breaks for everyone are going well over there!

Sara Neumann said...

Chris Rule... you are so funny. I'm not sure how many other people would have thought to "interview the author" without actually interviewing him.

Anna said...

Well, you are a preety good interviewer/ee. I really couldnt tell it was just you :). Sounds like an awsome book, I would love to read it.

David said...

Matt Mikalatos just posted about this book as well. You guys have peaked my interest.