Something a little different today – a review of a fiction novel!
The Enthusiast isn’t exactly a crafty novel, although crochet does figure prominently in the plot. Actually, the back-cover summary had me at hello:
“Henry Bay has his own America going. If there’s an offbeat interest or extreme sport that’s poised to sweep the nation, chances are there’s a magazine for its enthusiasts, and chances are also good that Henry has worked there. He’s a modern nomad, associate-editing his way from state to state, exploring the small worlds that make up modern America from Spelunk to Ice Climbing, to Cozy, The Magazine of Tea.“
I dearly loved this book for its delicious portrayal of people who have passions. We can all relate – and it’s fun to be reminded that the joy we feel in crafting is the same joy rock climbers feel when scaling a wall. Or skateboarders feel when airborne.
Aside from the enthusiasms, the novel is great fun for its portrayal of the quirky world of small hobby magazines – a sadly dying breed these days, as we know so well. The author, Charlie Haas, has written for quite a few magazines and knows this territory.
Still, this isn’t a merely funny book – it’s also a poignant story of family bonds changing, friendships waxing and waning, and the all-important search for that one pastime that makes you forget the passage of time.
Add this to your summer reading list. You won’t regret it.