Tuesday, September 6, 2011
Gil Marsh by A.C.E Bauer
Good Reads Summary
Good looking, athletic, and smart, Gill Marsh is the most popular kid at Uruk High School, even though he is only a junior. When Enko, a new kid from Montreal, shows up, Gil is wary. Yet Enko is easy going and matches Gil's athletic prowess without being a threat. Soon, the two become inseparable friends, practicing, studying, and double-dating.
Then suddenly, to everyone's shock, Enko succombs to an aggressive cancer.
When Enko's parents take his body and return to Canada, Gil is unable to even say good bye. He is inconsolable. Determined to find Enko's grave, Gil sneaks away and heads north.
Closely based on the ancient story of Gilgamesh, the Sumerian King from 3000 BC, A. C. E. Bauer has carefully woven the classic elements of myth to follow Gil's quest and explore the grief and growth of a young man.
I had no clue that this was a play on The Epic of Gilgamesh. There is clever use of elements from the original, but this modern version is one that paints a story of friendship, grief and coming of age, with the teensy magical thrown in.
I didn't feel a connection to Gil at first. When he is introduced, he is blessed but when he reacted the way he did... well, it read to standard. With a new guy showing up how should the 'king' react? Magnonimity masking insecurity some jealousy leading to territoriality then what? Friendship, an aspect that wasn't explored deepy but read quite deep and emotional to me. Then there's Enko, the new guy, the good guy, who is so nice and perfect. It's their friendship that leads to Gil's search (quest?) for closure.
I did enjoy where the story went mainly due to how the magical element was explored. A teensy exploration, of course given at its core Gil's story is one friendship, loss then letting go.
It's his journey that was the most eye opening. While it was his friendship with Enko that was heartbreaking, I was never totally emotionally invested. Again, I found it difficult to connect because everything happened too quickly~ from being rivals to being inseparable; from Gil's being territorial and insecure to being his inconsolable and grief struck. However, it's the outcome that sets him off on his journey,a journey that exposed him to all manner of people: the good, the bad and those in between.
The book comes out on February 2012