Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Drawers & Booths by Ara 13

I'd like to tell you all about an absolutely fascinating book I read recently- Drawers & Booths by Ara 13.

Product Description (from

While a Marine Corps corporal acts as a liaison between an island nation and the U.S. Army, his story is hijacked by a displaced narrator seeking a suspected criminal. The disruption causes the characters to become aware of their role in a novel, even rebelling against the author's intent, in this layered, metafictional journey; poignant, hilarious, and utterly unique.

From the Publisher
An "Outstanding Book of the Year" Bronze Medal "Storyteller of the Year"

About the Award: Drawers & Booths won an IPPY--the world's largest international book awards competition, independent or otherwise. Ara 13 competed against releases from production houses such as, Harvard, Princeton, MIT, Yale, and other university presses, as well as Pulitzer finalist Dave Eggers' production house, McSweeney's, and Barnes & Nobles' alliance press, iUniverse. Ara 13's novel was selected from 3,175 entrants representing 16 countries: Trinidad to Thailand, Croatia to Czech Republic, and France to Finland. Drawers & Booths was one of 32 books to receive the moniker, "Outstanding Book of the Year," and Ara won a Bronze Medal as "Storyteller of the Year."

According to 2008 Independent Publisher Book Awards, Ara 13 exhibits "the courage and creativity to take chances, break new ground, and bring about change, not only to the world of publishing, but to our society."

Here is a short video:

My Review

First of all I had NO idea what "metafictional" meant (apparently I live under a rock) so I looked it up in Wikipedia and here is what it had to say:

Metafiction is a type of fiction that self-consciously addresses the devices of fiction. It is the literary term describing fictional writing that self-consciously and systematically draws attention to its status as an artifact in posing questions about the relationship between fiction and reality, usually, irony and self-reflection. It can be compared to presentational theatre, which does not let the audience forget it is viewing a play; metafiction does not let the reader forget he or she is reading a fictional work.
That definition most assuredly describes Drawers & Booths. I really enjoyed this book! I have honestly never read another book that even comes close to resembling this book. I absolutely loved Ara 13's unique writing style. This book has several deep themes that will keep you thinking well after you are done reading it. It reminded me a little of a "matrix-y" type storyline that sort of bends your mind while you try to understand what the heck is going on! Ara 13 also added a very healthy dose of humour to the story which made me laugh out loud a couple of times. The twists and turns in the storyline and in the style of writing kept me interested in this fun book and I loved how unpredictable it was. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone looking for a unique read!

Here is an interview with the author I found on his website...

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