Set in the turn of the century, “Revolver” is the story of the gold rush. Or is it? It’s told in flashbacks starting in the “current” time of 1910 Giron (modern Kiruna) Sweden, and flashing back to Nome Alaska in the late 1890’s. The plot is not complicated although the flashbacks do add a depth to it I wasn’t expecting. It’s a mystery, or a crime novel, depending on how you look at it. Sig (Sigfried) Andersson has to face off with a man who’s been tracking his father for a decade. The problem is Sig doesn’t have what the man wants, gold. So not only are readers wondering why this man is after Einar Andersson, but Sig is trying to wonder the same thing.
This was a unique read for me. I have never read a book that is really just the story of how Sig deals with this man. It’s basically told over three days. I have mixed feelings about it. On the one hand, it was an exciting read. I could’ve read it cover to cover in one sitting. On the other hand, it leaves a lot to be desired as far as “entertainment” goes. Once the conflict is over, there’s no real payoff. In a few brief paragraphs we are told why the man is after Einar and how the family lives after the conflict. I, personally, want more details especially after having put the time and the energy to care for the characters, hoping they would make it through the standoff. I don’t read books just for the conflicts. That’s more the vehicle that takes me on the journey. I don’t appreciate it just for itself. But maybe that’s what the author wants me to do? This was nominated for a Printz award, and I’m not sure why. Yes, it’s entertaining. Yes, it’s unique in format. Does that equal award worthy? Only you, dear reader, will be able to make that decision.
I do recommend this book, even with all of the questions I have about it. It is entertaining and a quick read. It’s very much a rainy day or weekend read.