How To Start A Fire

     How To Start A Fire - Lisa Lutz 5/5

     How To Start A Fire is an interesting novel that takes conventional storytelling and sends it packing. If you like your stories to start at point A and end at point B then clearly this book isn't for you. It's not the type of novel that you can read and set it down for a bit and pick right up again. It's not told in a sequential manner which I'm sure will piss off quite a few readers. The beauty is that Lutz has given us these characters that aren't perfect, and sometimes not very likable but the way the story unfolds you become invested them and want to see how it all unfolds and ultimately ends. The way the book was written works well and tells the story in key elements. These key elements hinge onto each other giving us a book that is never dull or boring.

     The characters are the driving force of Fire. They are all complex in their own right including Kate who appears to be the most levelheaded of the three. Each of them have their own levels of tragedy and sure, maybe it is a bit cliched at times, but it's an interesting story that seems to hinge on Anna and just how damaged she truly is. Each of these characters balance each other out. It's a friendship that has endured despite it's many pit falls. Each of these characters are an important piece of the puzzle that Lutz has created. It's easy to grab onto Anna, George, and Kate and pick a favorite. The problem is that any one of them may turn out to disappoint you in the end.

     What's funny is that as a guy I'm probably supposed to hate a book like this. The truth is that I'm attracted to a great story. and I like characters that are a bit flawed. If a book is well written and grabs my attention I don't care what it's classified as. I've never read Lisa's work before but after reading How To Start A Fire I'm a fan. I like the complexity of the story. It's a risk that paid off and while most readers may find this book tedious due to its structure I found it highly engrossing. Because of how it's told added something unique to it. You have these timelines that seem random, but they all link together showing us that sometimes a great story can be told in an unconventional manner.  What others may see as a weakness I see as a strength and a fresh take on themes that have already been explored. Is it easy to read? It depends on what you call easy. The fact is that How To Start Fires is a well written novel and one that demands your attention.