<HONEA EXPRESS: My Second Ever Review of Some Kind of Art Stuff, This Time a Book: The Ha-Ha by Dave King

It finally happened. Honea Express has moved to greener pastures, or possibly just out to pasture -- you make the call.

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Thursday, March 17, 2005

My Second Ever Review of Some Kind of Art Stuff, This Time a Book: The Ha-Ha by Dave King

Ok, I know that I was giving Mr. King a hard time in the last post and for that, Dave if you are reading this, I apologize. Your book is brilliant, which I'm sure you have heard. I doubt that I can make any comparisons that haven't already been made, and why should I really? This isn't something that needs comparing, it just is. I could easily sit here and tell you that the character of Howard is a perfect blending of Holden Caulfield, Nick Carraway and Boo Radley, and sure that sounds good, but what does it mean?
It means that the first person narrative supplied by Howard Kapostash is real, it's ugly, it's beautiful, and despite the vast difference that may exist between the character and the reader, it's relatable. The fact that Howard cannot speak only adds weight to each internal thought, knowing as we do that he would never waste a single word on things as trivial as chit-chat or blogs (there Dave, I made fun of myself- even?).
Howard's life is not what he had hoped for, but whose is really? His condition, being mute, is part reason and part excuse, restraining him in frustration, yet allowing him a type of freedom few of us will ever know.
What King does here is provide an insight of humanity that isn't clouded with idle chatter and contemporary fall-backs. For all of Howards feeling of losing touch, he is deeply rooted in a decency, albeit blackened with moments of extreme frustration, that seems to be missing from our society. Everyone makes mistakes, and he makes his, not quite the fodder of evening news, yet low enough to ensure the self-inflicted guilt and shame that is seldom found in newspapers or courtrooms.
The book is far from preachy, but I couldn't help but feel that our world would be better off with more Howards and less everything. By no means, would I suggest that The Ha-Ha will make you a better person, but hell, it couldn't hurt. Read it.