Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Man and Other Natural Disasters by Nerys Parry: Review

I have a very special author here with me today on the blog and I think you will really enjoy.  She is here to discuss what she wants readers to take away from her book Man and Other Natural Disasters.  I am excited to be able to share her with you and check back on the 31st for my review of her book!

Many thanks to Nurture Your Books Virtual Tourz for allowing me to feature this author!

About the Author:

Nerys Parry’s writing has aired on CBC radio and appeared in diverse publications. Her work has been shortlisted for the Kenneth R. Wilson Canadian Business Press Award, FreeFall’s Fall Fiction Contest, and the Event Non-Fiction Award. Man & Other Natural Disasters, finalist for the Colophon Prize, is her first novel. Parry holds a Bachelor of Applied Science from Queen’s and a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from UBC. She lives in Ottawa with her husband, two children, one dog, two cats and her son's colony of ants.

About the Novel:

Simon Peters, a bookbinder full of theories on everything from heart-broken shrimp to the consciousness of DNA, is hiding from his horrific past in the basement of the Calgary City Library. Enter Minerva, a twenty-two-year-old student. Her ghostly resemblance to Simon’s dead sister compels him to reveal the shocking story of the various natural disasters that killed his family. But Simon’s story does not add up. When he finds Minerva bleeding on his bathroom floor, he must conquer the tyranny of his own memory and confront what really happened that summer of 1962. But the truth proves no less confounding, or tragic, than the original tale.

My Thoughts:

First of all let me start by saying how pretty this book is.  When I received it, my first thought was how nice it was - it has this beautifully textured binding along the spine and it really does add character to the novel.

The cover is attractive and with a young boy standing in the road watching a nearby hurricane.  It absolutely catches a reader's attention and made me want to open it immediately.  Additionally, I love the script used for the title - it is two different kinds and it really does add to the overall appeal of the novel.  The title is catchy and added to my curiosity about what this novel is about.

I loved the prologue, here is my favorite excerpt:

I will tell you a secret.
I know how I'm going to die.  I do now know when, and I do not know why, but I do know how.  And that is a terrible enough thing to live with.
How do I know with such certainty?
Fire, the most decisive element, devoured my sister first.  Not long after her last ember had cooled, Earth swallowed my father.  Then, not to be outdone, Air, the breath and will of the heavens themselves, swept up my mother.
And so you see, by some democracy of the Gods, I have been left to the Waters.
Now I will tell you my story.

This story is full of twists and turns and surprises.  I was amazed as I journeyed through Simon's mind just how deep humans beings can be and just how intricate our thoughts are. 

This novel is DEEP!  And that is what I loved so much about it.  I enjoyed delving into a novel that really made me think, it really made me wonder.  There is also much more to this than just the storyline, it is sprinkled with many other experiences such as how to repair a book (Simon's passion) to the experience of a baby being born.  Those add more layers to this novel and add to its thought-provoking nature.

Kudos to Narys Parry, this novel was great and I am truly looking forward to seeing more from her!


  1. Loved The review! Quite insightful! Thanks!

  2. Thanks for the wonderful review, Lindsay!