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Format: Hardcover, 272pp
Pub. Date: May 2004
Publisher: Grove/Atlantic, Inc
Reviewed by Thumper
I was caught unaware. I was not forewarned or prepared for Olympia Vernon's beyond marvelous second novel Logic. I knew Vernon was a capable writer after reading her incredible first novel Eden. However, I had no idea that her latest novel, a coming of age tale of a young girl in Mississippi, would far exceed any of my expectations. Logic confirms Vernon's growing status as a writer and places her in the upper echelon of literature writers. Cutting to the quick, Logic is a brilliant literary masterpiece.
Logic Harris is a 13 years old girl who has not been right in the head since she busted it wide open after falling out of a tree and. The accident changed Logic's life, every aspect of it. She does not talk anymore. Logic replaced language with laughs and hums. For the people who make up Logic's world determining the basis of Logic's non-verbal dialogue is unsettling. Logic is unsettling. Her parents have no idea what to do with her or how to interpret her alternative form of communication. Too Harris, Logic's mother, now wishes she had not sewed up Logic's head from the accident and that Logic had died from the fall. David Harris, Logic's father, is a scared and lonely man who has turned his back on his family. The Harris family is now bound together by a thread of sorrow that does not break. The novel Logic is a blues song composed of sweet and sour notes dripping in tender love and painful heartbreak.
Logic is, in a word: phenomenal. The novel is a dream realized. Written in a prose which cast the same hypnotic spell as snowflakes falling on gray winter nights: intricate, unique and cold; I was enthralled by the story and stunned by the exposure of its characters' naked and vulnerable souls. I was completely mesmerized. While reading Logic I was reminded of a silent, black and white movie when movies depended on its visual images to tell its story and form its rhythm. Throughout the novel, dialogue is sparingly used; thus, creating deadly quiet tone that awakens the nerves. I could not get enough.
Seldom have I been so taken with the prose of a novel as I have with Logic. Its prose is flawless, striking, and sharp. It is both imaginative and analytical. The prose alone allowed me to look at Logic and her world from a different perspective, as if I was viewing an alternative dimension while firmly planted in my own familiar one. The novel was a beauty to read while possessing the capability to express agony. I can not applaud Vernon enough.
No matter how impressed I became with Logic's prose, the fact that Vernon was telling a story was not lost or forgotten. Vernon did not string a large gathering of pretty words, and then inserted into a poetic structure in order to hide a weak story. Quite the contrary, Logic's storyline is solid. With the complex Logic at its center, the novel contained the essential balance of tragedy and life's lighter, at times ironic moments, just enough to make it all fascinating. The revealing of Logic's youth life was a delicate, fine and strong as a spider web weaved in the darkness of night that survived to witness a dew filled morning.
Logic is proof that literature, real literature, is capable of stirring the
soul and stimulating the mind. From its first page to the last period, the power
Logic generated was immediate and constant. Vernon is beyond being a promise
fulfilled, but one that has been surpassed. I can not praise Logic enough.
Easily, Logic is one of the best books of the year.