This week’s entry really puts a new spin on the popular phrase “last but not least”, in that, while it only made the bottom of the “tier list” (meaning nothing more than it was mentioned last), it is certainly no lesser than any of the previously mentioned works.
David Arnold’s “Mosquitoland” is merely distinctly different than the other works on this list. And, what I mean by this is that, while it didn’t necessarily change my perspective on life, per se, it absolutely changed my perspective on literature.
The story telling style of this novel, while the exact opposite of the traditional linear style, accomplishes so much with it’s erratic method of story telling. Given that our narrator, Mim, is someone who is more than a bit unorthodox, it’s very easy to get confused or find the story difficult to follow.
However, if you can manage to keep up with Mim’s story and avoid the whiplash that my come with the frequent flashbacks and erratic plot, I promise the story is well worth the ending.
Mim’s story begins in, ironically enough, Mississippi. There, she receives ill word about her mother, whom she used to live with, in Ohio. Then, the mentally unstable Mary Iris Malone embarks immediately to get back to her mother. Along the way, she meets several colorful characters, including the old lady Arlene, the bus driver Carl, the true love to be Beck, the lovable and unpredictable Walt, and even villains such as Poncho Man.
Along the way, Mim reminisces about her own childhood, writes letters to Isabel (quite the plot twist there), and experiences the absolute chaos of the journey. Through this lovely little cacophony of chaos, we learn that Mim is mentally ill, blind in her right eye, a child of divorce, and, truthfully, just homesick.
It’s a truly heart wrenching tale if one has the dedication to stick with it all the way through, and it’s definitely not boring, though the deeper parts of the story are possible to overlook if you’re not paying attention.
But, for Mosquitoland especially, it is not about the destination. It is about the journey, and Mim’s is definitely one worth following. So, if you ever see a copy in the local library, give it a read. I promise, you won’t regret it.
Sincerely, someone else hoping to escape “Mosquitoland”