Holes by Louis Sachar

Louis Sachar

This is an unlikely story about an unlikely hero being sent to an unlikely camp; but no matter how unlikely everything is you just keep on reading and reading and reading until you get to the end, page 234 and ask yourself "Gee, this is an unlikely triumph of a book!" then thank the fates or gods you believe in for the opportunity to peruse it. Of course that last part is a bit dramatic, how unlikely of me. Then again, not so. Hahaha!

I first heard of this book from my friend Anj, who raved about it last year while I was practically close to my panic mode - I took the bar exams September so around that time I haven't been reading fiction - and filed the thought (well, the book title) in mind. I was searching the bargain books at Book Sale last month when I found a good copy for only Php 40.00 (which is equivalent to one US dollar) and forgot all about it until I picked it up Friday night and finished it early Saturday morning.

How exactly should I ramble about this unlikely story? I don't think I can. Hahaha! Basically it's about a young boy named Stanley Yelnats being sent to Camp Green Lake after being convicted of a crime he didn't commit. The Yelnats have a long history of bad luck for failure of the great-great-grandfather to fulfill a promise made a hundred or so years back; not one of them is ever really successful at anything. So the young Stanley is used to the bad luck and the family is used to blaming their "no-good-dirty-rotten-pig-stealing-great-great-grandfather" if only jokingly as the Yelnats have good hearts.

In Camp Green Lake the boys are required to dig holes five feet wide and five feet deep to build character, so the Warden says. I did mention the story as unlikely, right? Like hundreds of times, right? Yeah, I know I exaggerate a lot. But like I said you just read on because there's something about Stanley, something about the holes, something about luck changing its course for the better, something about old family stories and everything coming in full circle when the story ends. If I say a word more then it would be unfair for those who have yet to read and enjoy the book.

I was about to title this post as Karma Chameleon, something which I thought that those who have read this book might understand, then I remembered how weird my mind works and maybe the song just kept playing in my head from the time I reached the halfway mark of the book. Maybe I'm just pushing it too far because I'm merely aiming for that title and not the entire song altogether. Is it obvious I'm rambling? But the title now is apt; for those who have read the book and for those merely wanting to know the very basic of the unlikely plot. Well, as apt as my weird thoughts can conceive every so often.

A story that I cannot quite label and yet I find satisfying nonetheless. A story about hope, friendships, acceptance, diversity, things that makes us all too human, and things that bring out the beast in us. I know I'm jotting down universal themes of serious books, right? Right.

This is my seventh read for the Book Award Reading Challenge and again, I'm not following the list I made. Hahaha! Holes won the Newbery in 1999.