The Tale of Findo Gask

Where have I been? I’ve been to the other side of the universe and back. And I’m going on holiday to Neptune once I’m done with this very, very long-overdue review of The Tale of Findo Gask. So my blogging is going to get even more sporadic. Just saying.

Months ago, Mr. Huw Thomas asked me to review this book, his own brainchild. It’s the story of a young career criminal, called Findo Gask.


Findo was born as a nobody. He was the youngest member of a desperately poor family, his future almost certainly bleak. But Findo had a talent, something that would save him and define him in the years to come. This book is his story. Findo Gask is the main character, and the novel’s premise.

My opinion on the book is very definite. There are things I like about it, and things I don’t. But since the pros outweigh the cons, I would suggest you give it a try.

For instance, the characterisation is really, really well done. It’s tricky to create a character like Findo. He’s complex because he is suspended in limbo between two extremes. He is both innocent and daring. His understanding of the world is guided by one simple philosophy: if he wants it, he will take it. And yet, there are qualities that make him an anti-hero. For instance, busting a friend out of jail by actually engineering a flood that makes the lives of innocent people rather difficult. I also like Abby, the woman he loves. She’s believable, which is saying something in today’s day and age of crappy female protagonists.

Plot is another thing I approve of. It moves seamlessly, and yet takes large jumps of time. Thomas has obviously done his research, which makes Findo’s style of breaking-and-entering, along with the large criminal organisations and their workings, rather fluid and logical. There is just enough romance to balance the plot without smothering you. (Romance, I say it again, is one of the most dangerous elements in any story. It can destroy a novel just as easily as it can make one. So it is refreshing to see it done well.)

I’m of two minds about the actual style of writing. It’s frank and honest, and there isn’t too much imagery. This actually complements the content of the story and Findo Gask’s personality. My problem is with the way the dialogues are written. Exhibit A:

She sighed. “It could be. But we don’t know and it’s not the same.”
She clenched her fists. “Oh, this is a mess!”

I would much rather it be in the same paragraph than in different ones like above. Something like this:

She sighed. “It could be. But we don’t know and it’s not the same.” She clenched her fists. “Oh, this is a mess!”

It makes it a lot less confusing for the reader. I see this happening a few times throughout the novel. It’s the only thing that really irked me and took away from the reading experience.

Other than that, though, The Tale of Findo Gask is enjoyable. It’s real, with its own sense of fiction and surrealism to it. I suppose that’s because Findo is the sort of character all of us can relate to, and all of us are a bit reserved about.

Oh, and I love the way it ended. The ending cemented my belief that this book would make a really good movie. It has all the right visual effects and just the right story. Readers who enjoy good characters would love it.

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