You know when you finish a book and immediately mourn it because it’s over? That’s what has just happened to me with William Neil Scott’s novel, Wonderfull (NeWest Press, 2007).
When I heard Neil read as part of the Snare the NeWest tour at Max Middle’s A B Series a while back, I knew I had to get the book. He read the opening chapter and I could tell the man had a gift for telling a story, and boy was I right.
In Wonderfull, we hear about the town Garfax, which can be found on no map, and its eccentric inhabitants. There are stories and stories within stories. The book is full of wonder, yes wonder, and magic and light and twists.
The characters are compelling. There is Emma Brodie, the mother of Oz or Oswald, our main character, and the story of when Emma went to water. There is Oswald’s brother Maddox who wants to be fireworks and Quill Lake, and Lizzie the one armed taxi driver and there is the return of the town’s prodigal son. There is the Anson Mansion split into five pieces. There are the forefathers and that interesting twist, which you have to get the book to find out about.
Wonderfull simmers with stories and compassion and surprises that are sustained throughout the whole novel. All of this in rich and beautiful, lyrical language.
Neil told me at the Mayflower Pub after the reading that he couldn't get into poetry, that poetry was not something he could write. But I have the temerity to say that he is wrong. He does write poetry. It’s all the way through his novel.
On this really bleak November day, I urge you to get yourself a copy of this book. If I gave out xmas gifts, I’d be buying it as a gift for friends. I might just do that anyway. It’s the best book I’ve read in 2007 and right up there with my favourite books ever.
William Neil Scott...remember that name. He is wonderfull with two Ls.