Sunday, May 4, 2008

Jamestown by Matthew Sharpe (Jill's review)

By Matthew Sharpe
Completed May 2, 2008

Jamestown by Matthew Sharpe is a post-annihilated view of America, set against the historic backdrop of the early Jamestown settlement. In this story, John Rolfe, John Smith and company voyaged to Virginia from Manhattan, searching for more fuel and resources for their New York-based company. When they arrived in Jamestown, they met great resistance from the natives, but as in history, the young Pocahontas became the link between these two cultures.

The story was written with each chapter told from a different character’s viewpoint, which helped move the story along. By far, my favorite character was Pocahontas. She emerged as a funny, vulnerable and believable 19-year-old girl. As brutal as her male counterparts, Pocahontas preferred diplomacy and was fascinated by her northern visitors. And yes, like history, there was a romance, but I won’t reveal which John she fell for.

Reviewers of Jamestown loved the satirical nature of this book and raved about the brilliant execution of dark humor and political commentary. Furthermore, Jamestown was listed as a 2007 Best Book by Publisher’s Weekly. For me, however, I didn’t get it. It was like a conversation with a dark but witty guest at a party whose allusions and nuisances went over my head. I don’t fault Matthew Sharpe for my inadequacies, though. His writing style was easy and humorous, his characterization was spot on and I am sure other readers would enjoy this book.

If you enjoy the darkest of humor and the most satirical of political and environmental commentaries, then you may want to try Jamestown. ( )

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