Louis Sachar's Holes - As good as I expected
Holes was an excellent read. I have been a fan of Louis Sachar since I was little. The Wayside School books made me laugh so hard back then. It is encouraging to know that Sachar's wit and knack for creating unique characters and situations has not declined.
I saw the movie before I read the book, which was unfortunate because the whole time I was reading I already had the characters pictured in my head. Luckily, the book differs from the movie in a few ways.
Sachar forces his characters to deal with many issues that children face, namely not fitting in, obesity, bullying, and racial issues. This could be a recipe for disaster in the hands of a less-skilled author, but Sachar deals with each item in an effective way without ever becoming overly preachy.
In fact, this was a major part of what I liked about this book. Sachar's writing style is unique, and I have difficulty describing it with accuracy. Basically, he presents the facts of a situation and then allows the reader to decide how to interpret them. Occasionally he does follow-up with a "guiding sentence," but this is not often the case.
The final outstanding aspects of this book are the humor and the characters. The names are classic. "Mr. Sir," "Stanley Yelnats," "Armpit," are some of the funniest. What's more, the characters are vividly written so that the reader actually feels as though they have met these people. The way in which the Warden commands respect simply by her short "excuse mes" was nice to behold. Every character immediately figured out to address her properly and answer straightly. Also, I don't really remember the lawyer in the movie, but in the novel I thought she was a great addition, with a definite style all her own.
The only disappointing thing I found - well, actually didn't find - was my favorite line in the movie. When Mr. Sir tells the story about the land where it...