Thursday, May 30, 2013

Four Corners of the Sky: Chapters 35-38

This is installment 6 of my Big Library Reading diary, covering chapters  35-38. At Book Expo America today, Overdrive president Steve Potash announced that Four Corners of the Sky had been downloaded by 37,000 library patrons, more than 50 Shades of Gray or Gone Girl. Sales of Michael Malone's other books had gone up by 500%. And these 4 chapters were quite long.

There's starting to be a bit of conversation on Twitter about the book. At another session at Digital Book 2013 Josh Schanker of BookBub presented data showing that it takes about two weeks for a book price promotion to have an effect on buzz or sales. Four Corners is a pretty long book, so it's likely that any effect of offering it in librararies is just now starting.
One thing I saw on Twitter was a report that the Wizard of Oz was Malone's "inspiration" for Four Corners. The allusions are pretty thick, so now I need to list them so I can start enjoying the book again.
  • Annie lives with aunt and uncle; her parents are missing.
  • Annie leaves home in a twister. My mind was more in the Tempest
  • Annie's Toto-ish little dog jumps into the plane with her
  • Emerald (City)
  • When she gets to Miami, she's the only black and white thing in a suddenly colorful world
  • rubies and gold
  • Jack and the wizard are con men
So there are some obvious allusions. It's not like the original Tron, which is almost a remake of Oz. So unless Annie goes off to Cuba to kill a wicked witch, I don't think Oz is much help in understanding Four Corners. Like the many movie allusions, it's embroidery, peripheral to the narrative. Not that there's anything wrong with that. 

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