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 » Full Dark, No Stars - Stephen King's new novella questions mankind's ability to trust others.
[02.21.2011 by Bridget Doyle]

MUSIC

 » The Top 30 Albums of 2010 - Fashionably, fabulously late, our favorite music (and believe me, there was a LOT) of 2010, the year that some have called the best year for music ever. And only some of those fools work here. Plenty of usual suspects, lots of ties and a few surprises that I won't spoil, including our unexpected #1.
[12.24.2010 by The LAS Staff]

MUSIC

 » Live: Surfer Blood/The Drums at Lincoln Hall, Chicago, IL - Remember when Weezer used to put together records that you could sing along to and rock out to? That's what Surfer Blood's show was like!
[11.04.2010 by Cory Tendering]

Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
»Deerhunter
Halcyon Digest
4AD
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
»Robyn
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Konichiwa
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Lisbon
Fat Possum
David Guterson
Snow Falling on Cedars
Bloomsbury

Rating: 7.6/10 ?


April 1, 1998
Snow Falling on Cedars, the debut novel from David Guterson, has been a highly discussed book, but I don't see the gold lining in the Pacific Northwesterner's coming out part. It is a good read, but I think the media are perhaps getting a bit carried away with themselves.

The story, set decades ago in Washington State, is a twisting whodunnit riddled with the sometimes still-unresolved tensions between Japanese-Americans and their neighbors on a small island off the coast of the Pacific Northwest. Years after the ending of WWII a local fisherman dies mysteriously at sea and a Japanese-American is accused of the crime, digging up ages old family feuds and reeling in the players in childhood friendships that have fallen away like so many tattered flags since the bombing of Pearl Harbor. A host of characters lend to the complex plot, which twists and turns throughout most of the book, but the characters themselves are somewhat hollow and unrefined. It becomes clear what really happened some 60 pages from the end, which rules out any notion of a cliffhanger. While the fog of doubt's early lifting is fairly disappointing, Guterson does use the extra space to effectively tie up the loose ends between the legion of characters, even if it does feel a bit like a rushed tidying up.

Part love story, part social commentary, part courtroom drama, the plot is an intricate web woven by Guterson's excellent storytelling, but the book as a whole suffers from poor character development. His first widely available novel, Snow Falling on Cedars has already been developed into a film starring Ethan Hawke and only points in the direction of great things for Guterson. I'll keep my eyes peeled for whatever Guterson may have coming down the pipe.

Reviewed by Eric J Herboth
Eric J. Herboth is the founder, publisher and Managing Editor of LAS magazine. He is a magazine editor, freelance writer, bike mechanic, commercial pilot, graphic designer, International Scout enthusiast and giver of the benefit of the doubt. He currently lives in rural central Germany with his two best friends, dog Awahni and cat Scout.

See other reviews by Eric J Herboth

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