Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Book Review of The Current

Book Review of The Current
           Sponsored by Virtual Author Book Tours

Welcome to Books, Books, and More Books.  I am pleased to share this book with you.  Thank you for visiting and please come again.

Publisher: Yannick Thoraval (September, 2014)
Category: Literary Fiction, Climate Fiction
Tour Date: November, 2014
Available in: ebook, 312 Pages

Peter Van Dooren’s wealth and prestige mean that his family wants for nothing – except a husband and a father.

When the president of a sinking tropical island in the south pacific calls on the world’s most ingenious entrepreneurs to help save his people, Van Dooren reckons his plan can save the island and its people’s way of life.

If it works, Van Dooren’s plan will not only make him richer, it could also change the very idea of nations and borders. After all, changing the world is what Peter really wants to accomplish. 

The thing is, not all of the islanders share Van Dooren’s vision for their homeland. That won’t stop Peter from risking everything to prove that nature can be tamed. Playing God may cost Van Dooren his fortune and his own family.

While Peter plots a world away, his wife, son and daughter sink deeper into their own personal abyss of retail therapy, amateur pornography and Christian fundamentalism.

Everyone is adrift on the same tide of greed, lust and fear. This is the current that shapes the world. It always has; it always will. 

Commended by judges of the prestigious, Victorian Premier's Literary Awards for an Unpublished Manuscript and finalist in the International Showcase Screenwriting Competition, 'The Current' is a novel about the difference between having a house and losing a home. The style of writing is literary (thoughtful but humorous), and will appeal to readers of Jonathan Franzen (particularly Freedom), Ian McEwan (particularly Solar) and Michel Houellebecq (particularly Platform). Stylistically, The Current offers readers a back and forth split storyline and portent of danger comparable to Paul Thomas Anderson's film, Magnolia (1999).

Praise for 'The Current':

Ironic and slyly, bleakly humorous. The Current is a story peopled by men and women of the Renaissance who jog and contemplate their plane food and visit websites and shopping malls, who seem both exhausted by and untiringly connected to their technologies. Gently vexing and hauntingly memorable.”- Clare Allan, Writers Victoria
"The Current has all the elements of a literary mainstream novel that demands the reader think about home, traditions, family, refugees and political and commercial intervention. This is a story of belonging, of finding your fit within family and your fit within the world.”–Amanda J. Spedding, Phoenix Editing

About Yannick Thoraval:

Yannick Thoraval is a professional communications adviser and university lecturer.

Best known as an essayist, Thoraval has publishing widely for both academic and general audiences. 

He formally studied film, philosophy and American political history, attaining a masters degree from the University of Melbourne before leaving academia to pursue commercial writing interests. He ended up working as a copywriter in marketing and communications.

Thoraval’s fiction has received critical acclaim. His first screenplay, Kleftiko, was a finalist in the International Showcase Screenwriting Awards. Judges of the prestigious Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards, Australia, highly commended his first novel, The Current.

The novel draws from Thoraval’s personal and professional experiences of working in the Victorian State Government, particularly his work in international development with the nation of Timor-Leste.

He is a career migrant and has lived in the Netherlands, France, Cyprus, Canada and Australia. Moving internationally from a young age has left him feeling culturally stateless, despite holding three passports.

Thoraval is a quiet advocate for refugees and asylum seekers. He is a founding member of the World Writings Group, which helps refugees write about their experiences of forced migration.

He has pledged to donate 10% of the proceeds of this book to assist the settlement of refugees. 

He currently lives in Melbourne, Australia, where he teaches professional writing and editing.  He is working on his second novel.

Buy ‘The Current’:

Excerpt for Books Books

The pontoon boat churned through the water, choppy waves banging hollow against its aluminum hull. The water was blue and clear, and the flat seabed was visible beneath the surface, interrupted by the occasional patch of coral. Peter felt the cool salt spray on his hands and face and he breathed in deeply.

The boat rounded the island’s rough, pebbled shoreline.

President Koyl’s diplomatic efforts to contain the rising sea level had not been entirely in vain. A few small-scale projects stood as evidence of the international community’s involvement on L’Eden Sur Mer.

Small, individual sea walls had been built to protect homes along the beach. The walls had gone up, separating neighbors into little concrete pens along the foreshore.

But the walls hadn’t been strong enough. One by one, the sea had breached them and concrete slabs now littered the beach like an aborted game of giant dominoes.

Peter watched smoke rise from behind the little houses, the only sign that anyone was home.

Past a shallow reef system the wind picked up suddenly. The sea was darker here. It looked bluer, deeper, and colder. The motor revved higher but they moved no faster through the water. They must be fighting the same currents that droopy-faced Lieutenant Ball had noted in his logbook.  

Peter squinted at a silhouette in the distance. Not a mountain. Not even a hill. It was more of a mound. Curly white waves broke against its steep shore.

The motor quieted and the boat circled the little island. Shards of broken glass and twisted metal from a collection of crumbling buildings glinted in the sun.

“This is the Peak,” said Koyl gravely. “People used to be able to walk to the mainland from here.”

The shoreline of L’Eden Sur Mer was only a few yards away.

“Six years ago,” said Koyl, “we used a giant machine, a dredger, to bring sand and rock from the bottom of the sea and put it on the surface. This was already the highland, you see. So we made it higher.” Koyl’s turned to the sandy, rocky formation outside the boat. His audience did the same. “Locals call it the Peak,” he added quietly.

A dredger. Cunning, thought Peter. All of this sand, these rocks and boulders had just been lying, useless, on the seabed. For how long? Centuries? Millennia? Now they’d been brought to the surface to do something useful.

The flood-resistant island within the island had been the brainchild of the Öersk Development Corporation, a Danish company that had been contracted by the government of L’Eden Sur Mer to build and settle the new housing project. It was to be Öersk’s expansion project and serve as an alternative model for international development.

“It was a good idea,” said Koyl. “But it didn’t work.”

Some three hundred families had been persuaded to relocate to the Peak, lured by the promise of new, two-bedroom apartments, complete with air conditioning, double glazing and European appliances.

The boat circled the Peak a second time. A bent and rusting metal sign said something aspirational. The writing was barely legible: new, proud, construction, home. Only the top of the government crest remained to be eaten by the rust. Whatever the sign said was unimportant now. The experiment had failed. The relocation had muddled the islanders’ traditional social ties, which had long been based on their regional identity and their connection to ancestral land holdings. On the Peak, people from the east of the island had been lumped in with those from the west and it wasn’t long before in-fighting between families over meaningless domestic issues assumed religious proportions.

A series of arson attacks within the development had sparked an exodus, led by people with young children who felt they had too much to lose by remaining at the Peak. A band of youths had briefly taken over the burnt-out buildings but had been ‘moved on’.

The apartments lay vacant and served as giant nesting boxes for the Pacific gulls that squawked as the boat passed by. Fittings and fixtures had been torn out. Mounds of sand had blown in through shattered glass patio doors. The wind whistled around the sharp and broken edges of the Peak.

No one spoke.

“The Peak has become a cursed place,” said Koyl. “Most people dare not come here at all. Some have started to speak of it as an omen about the coming end of time.” 
Tour Schedule

Teddy Rose Book Reviews Plus Nov 7 Review & Giveaway
Pinky's Favorite Reads Nov 10 Excerpt
Books, Books, & More Books Nov 11 Review & Excerpt
Lady in Read Nov 13 Review
Deal Sharing Aunt Nov 18 Review & Excerpt
Inspire to Read Nov 19 Excerpt
100 Pages A Day Nov 20 Review & Excerpt
Cassandra M's Place Nov 24 Review & Giveaway
What U Talking Bout Willis? Nov 25 Review & Excerpt


Interesting concept for a novel that makes you think about the world and social issues on a more personal level.  Some parts of the book are amazing and well thought out.  However it is somewhat disconnected with odd storylines sticking out like loose threads.  I am glad I read it but still find myself with many unanswered questions and loose ends.

I give this story 3.5 out of 5 clouds for the amazing imagery and writing.

This product or book may have been distributed for review; this in no way affects my opinions or reviews.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for taking part in the tour. I'm glad you enjoyed 'The Current'.