Thursday, January 26, 2012
Another book review
Wild Meat and the Bully Burgers was required reading for my English 440 course- Major Author. In this class we are reading works by Lois-Ann Yamanaka and Toni Morrison. Wild Meat and the Bully Burgers is the first book we started the course off with.
Yamanaka is a Hawaii born author and she is the first author to write an entire novel in the vernacular of Pidgin. For those of you who don't know about Pidgin it is a vernacular a lot of Hawaii residents speak. I would say...it's pretty similar to a southern accent. For example, "Ho, my brudda, I no see no kine, no pig you know" (Sorry I just made that sentence up in my mind). The whole book isn't written like that though, just the dialogue.
I know Wild Meat and the Bully Burgers has mixed reviews because people argue that the pidgin dialogue is too hard to follow. Let me clarify and say it's not. I think it's a load of crap when people down-talk the book saying that it's hard to read pidgin. It's really not. The book has "mild" pidgin and I believe Yamanaka does this so people from mainland can easily understand, and I think she does a good job making the book relatable to everyone (Barbies, Shirley Temple).
Wild Meat and the Bully Burgers is a "coming-to-age" novel. The main character Lovey is growing up on the island of Hilo during the 70's where every girl wanted her barbie convertible and her hair curled like Shirley Temple. There are some really funny stories, like how her mom does an at home perm. There are also sad stories, a lot of stories about death, being on the outside of the crowd, and having difficulty finding a personal identity. All of these aspects really make the book very relatable.
I think what I like most about Wild Meat and the Bully Burgers is that Yamanaka doesn't hesitate to show the bad character traits of the narrator and main character Lovey. By this I mean, there are times when the reader absolutely loves Lovey, and there are times when the reader HATES Lovey. I think it provides a nice balance of character.
I enjoyed Wild Meat and the Bully Burgers, it's simple to read and it's pretty short despite its 300+ pages.