The Snow Whale

John Minichillo. Atticus Books, $14.95 trade paper (266p) ISBN 978-0-9845105-9-7
In this wonderfully inventive debut novel from John Minichillo (a comedic, contemporary retelling of Moby Dick), a chance DNA test reveals to John Jacobs that he is in fact 37% Inuit. So begins the humorous, occasionally hilarious exploits of a man in search of genuine experience (which by his newly acquired tribal rights comes in the form of an Alaskan whale hunt). Whether in quaint suburbia or the frozen Chukchi Sea, human relationships are exposed. Minichillo's balance of satire and realism addresses issues of race, gender, class, and power. The search for the legendary white whale reveals underlying tensions about global warming and government intervention and their increasing impact on ancient customs and cultural relations. With palpable insecurities and unwavering commitment to what is an otherwise absurd cause, Minichillo has created in Jacobs an immensely endearing protagonist who grows more appealing as readers accompany him on his overwhelmingly personal and admirable pursuit. Packed with tongue–in-cheek observations, Minichillo has crafted a delightful tale that is subtle and outrageous in equal measure, and filled with "the wisdom of the-everything-and-the-nothing that is the Great Living Breath." (July)
Reviewed on: 07/11/2011
Release date: 07/01/2011
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