Saturday, 26 March 2011
Stan's Leap by Tom Duerig
Author: Tom Duerig
Published: June 2009
ISBN: 978 0595508488
Author's website: http://www.myspace.com/stansleap
The cover on this represents a tiny portion of the book, which may not be obvious from the synopsis. Jenny and Stan embark on the journey of a lifetime when they decide to go on a remote island 'back to basics' type holiday. What starts out to be a tranquil destination becomes a lifestyle unlike any of the guests have ever had. There are a couple of slight spoilers in this, but I've tried not to give too much away.
The beginning of the book didn't hook me in as much as I like books to, but I persevered and continued reading. There's a wealth of knowledge and evolution within the pages, the characters have to accept their holiday for what it is, and learn how to cope from that point on with what they have. I found some of the concepts intriguing, and some of them completely remote and incomprehensible...like why someone would want to leap into unsafe water knowing they were pregnant, endangering both themselves and their unborn child, especially when there were other characters which could have done it.
Stan's Leap evolves considerably with it's characters. My favorite character is Nani, she has a quiet way and sense to her which calms and diffuses situations and is invaluable to the community of holiday goers. I managed to read the first part of the book and digest what was given by the author. Some of the information was fascinating, clearly Duerig has done his homework on the Mutiny on the Bounty, which is where some of these concepts in the book has come from.
However I couldn't get past the second part of the book, no matter how much I tried. It is stark and extremely harsh in comparison to the first portion of the book, and for me it was too over the top, especially as Kimo, their tour guide has changed so much and in ways which he stated he would not accept from anyone in the first half of the book.
All in all Stan's Leap has some great concepts in. I just couldn't get on with the second half....I'm sure this would make interesting reading for a book group, there's plenty of scope for chat on relationships and environmental impact.
What would you do if you found yourself stranded in Paradise? Newlyweds Jenny and Stan are eager to travel before they begin building their family. After seeing an intriguing ad in a travel magazine, Jenny arranges a vacation to a remote Pacific island. The advertisement promises a completely authentic Polynesian experience. Despite an arduous journey to reach their paradise, they are excited to immerse themselves in the history, adventure, and culture of the Polynesian islands as they were before contact with the western world.
Led by the zealous Kimo and his beautiful partner Nani, Henderson Island first appears as idyllic as hoped. The island's natural environment promises to provide for all their needs without modern materials and technology.
Several days after arriving, however, an unusual storm disrupts their routine. And when the weekly flight back to civilization fails to arrive, tempers flare and deep rifts among the guests are formed. Day after day passes with no sign of life beyond Henderson Island's shores.
As days extend into weeks and months, Jenny, Stan and the other vacationers are left searching for explanations, rescue, and finally a new reality.