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The Hoax, by Adrienne Jones Book Review | SFReader.com
The Hoax, by Adrienne Jones Genre: Mixed Genre Publisher: Mundania Press Published: 2006 Review Posted: 12/6/2006 Reviewer Rating:
Reader Rating: 10 out of 10
The Hoax, by Adrienne Jones
Book Review by C. Dennis Moore
Have you read this book?
The thing that initially struck me, and continues to strike me, about Adrienne Jones's novel The Hoax, is the COMPLETENESS of it. When we open with Charles Duvaine at his beach house, deciding to finally get on with his life after the loss of his wife and one of his sons, we think we're meeting our main character. But when Charles Duvaine is murdered by his favorite booze . . . well, we're not quite sure where we're going from here. And that's a theme Jones holds true to throughout, keeping the reader guessing and making sure you never know, from one chapter to the next, just what the hell is going to happen next.
After this shocking opening, we're finally introduced to the true main characters of the novel , Patrick Obrien, Joey Duvaine (the last surviving son of the Duvaine clan), and Shep. These three have been friends since college. Patrick is the solid one. He may be a little weak in the spine at times, but of the trio, it's Patrick who most seems to have his shit together. Joey is the charmer. Shep is the independently wealthy friend who hasn't worked a day in his life and who seems to glide through life with never a backward glance. How wrong we are.
After the funeral, Joey decides to quit his job and, in his own words, never wear a tie again. Joey and Patrick work together for the same ad agency. Unfortunately, Patrick doesn't have the luxury of dropping out of the work force. So while he's putting in his 9 to 5, Shep and Joey are hatching a plan, something to pass the time, something to relieve the boredom. Something to fool the world. They plan to stage a miracle. And through this phony miracle, they'll make Joey Duvaine a prophet. Who cares if it's real, think of the tax write-off!
Now, if this were the direction the rest of The Hoax took, I would have been fine with that. I would have enjoyed the novel--after all it's not just the story, but Jones is a great writer as well--and finished it feeling quite satisfied. But, like I said, Adrienne Jones isn't telling us everything just yet. This is where the completeness factor comes in.
Adrienne Jones isn't just trying to get the story out, she wants us to be a part of this world, and that's the difference between a writer banging out a novel and a novelist creating something that's going to last. Adrienne Jones isn't a writer, she's a novelist.
As a writer, you want to be able to write that novel that's more than just a scene by scene plot point progression. You want to write something that's an entire experience unto itself. That's what Adrienne Jones has done with The Hoax. I'm in awe at the scope of this thing. This is the kind of book Writers aspire to.
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