Title: The Genius of Little Things
Author: Larry Buhl
Publisher: Beso Books/Createspace
This is a quiet book of elegant prose and deep characterisation. It’s beauty is in the character of Tyler, a seventeen year old kid who has been shunted around by the foster system since his mother died four years perviously. Despite the hard reality of a life living with people who care only about the pay check they get from the government for looking after you, Tyler is a good kid. He keeps his emotions in check, not willing to open up because it only results in you getting hurt or at least being disappointed.
There is a moving kind of dignity about the story and the subtle changes that occur in Tyler when he finds a couple who actually care about him make up the story. And there is the weakness in this book; it lacks a strong plot.
Tyler is a bright kid, basically a nerd, and he wants to go to a special college that’s very hard to get into. The book details his journey towards his goal but there isn’t a single strong antagonist to give the story bite.
The book is basically an extended character study, and if you don’t require a gripping story, then there’s a lot of subtlety to enjoy here – I did enjoy it – but I suspect that it may not hold everyone. At a quarter of the way in, you might be wondering if anything is going to happen. It does and it doesn’t. The events keep moving along and the addition of lists and journal entries give variety to the reading experience, but there is nothing major to hold those who need a need a strong plot to keep them reading.
But don’t let that put you off. It’s very well written and Tyler is an interesting and endearing character, well worth reading about.