Monday, August 8, 2011

The Help by Kathryn Stockett


Book Monday: The Help


There are so many good things about this book, I could spend weeks highlighting them. Literally, others have. For example, Larry Brooks over at Storyfix.com has done it in his "The Help Deconstruction Series." But I am not going to do that. I am going to talk about the ONE BIG thing I liked the most about this book: THE VOICE.

The voice. That squirmy undefinable thing that all writers have to find for themselves. I don't know how Kathryn found hers for this book, but its amazing. Basically, the book is told from three different perspectives in first person. Two voices are from the black maids ("the help") and one from a young white woman. This is in the 60's, in the South, and you can just feel the change a comin.

I especially like the voice of the older maid Aibileen. She talks about gettin the Good Nuff sprayed on her hair, little Stevie Wonder on the tee-vee, makin herself a poke salad with fried ham, takin care of chilluns. Some of the references to 60's products, culture, and foods were lost on me, and some really made this book. I think it is really hard to pull of writing a book entirely in dialect. Certainly when the dialect is somewhat foreign. But Miss Stockett did it seemlessly. The slang never got in the way. In fact, I think it made this book.

And that's all I gotta say about that. (Wait, that's Forrest Gump...oh well, this book is as good Forrest Gump. And since the movie comes out this Wednesday August 10th, I am predicting it will be as big of a hit as Gump was).



16 comments:

  1. Good review! I have not read the book, but I've been very curious about it because of all the hype that's been coming out with the movie.

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  2. This book is totally next on my TBR pile.

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  3. That's the thing I keep hearing about this book-- THE VOICE! You'd think that by now I would've picked it up just to see for myself. But I haven't....

    Which is why you're so cool, Jessie. Sometimes I need me another kick in the hiney to do something. Thanks for kicking me. :)

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  4. Haven't read The Help yet, but I hear you on books so good, spending weeks highlighting them would be no problem (I'm currently reading Moby-Dick, which falls into that category as well).

    PS: Speaking of books, I have a book that's yours, it needs returning! :)

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  5. I read that book in three days flat. I LOVED it! The voice(s) is/are amazing. I simply cannot wait to read more from Ms. Stockett.

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  6. I have GOT to read this! I hear such wonderful things and I have to read it before I see the movie! Agh! Sounds wonderful. THanks for the review!

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  7. I still need to read this one. But several gals in my crit group have and loved it! Her belief in her book is SO inspiring!

    Thanks for stopping by my blog today. Yours is lovely! Oh, and I notice you have my boyfriend Ryan Reynolds making a cameo below. Just make sure you send him back my way when he's done here. HEH. ;) Nice to meet you!

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  8. Oh, and I love the name of your blog! LOL

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  9. I just started reading The Help the other night. When a book lingers on the best sellers lists for amazingly long amounts of time, I just can't ignore it. And I agree, amazing job on the voice. :)

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  10. Yep, your review is similar to others that I've read on this - it seems that Ms Stockett wrote a great book. I haven't read it yet but it's on my list. Thanks for stopping by my blog!

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  11. I liked this book a lot too. Great audio version too.

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  12. Wow, I really need to read that book. Sounds good. I saw your face on my followers so just wanted to pop by and say hello. :-) I see you're in LV! My husband was just out there for the big I-Cast conference.

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  13. The Help is one of my most favorite novels. And yes, much of my love is for the voices. Amazing. P.S. I also love Forrest Gump, so I'm cheering this post. ; )

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  14. So excited to read this--just received it from a pal on Sunday.

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  15. I loved the book -- but that always presents a problem for me when there is a movie, because I'm afraid the movie will never be as good.

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