Rising to the Occasion

Posted on: November 7th, 2007 by Anthony Rapino 6 Comments


Within the first few pages of Michael Louis Calvillo’s new book, I Will Rise, I knew I had something unique in my hands.

I won’t waste your time trying to summarize the novel (besides, you can head over to Mr. Calvillo’s website and even get the first chapter free), but I will say it is a nice twist on the familiar apocalyptic plot. Along these lines, the style and POV of the writing is not what you’d normally see in this type of book.

We’re introduced to the main character in first person present tense, and he tells us first hand, we’re not going to like him. And right there, I was hooked.

The hell with these Hollywood wannabe writers who give us feel good stories with characters we love from the first line.

And with those thoughts reverberating in my head, I started to read, and immediately I recognized the unique style as a playful adaptation of Chuck Palahniuk and Mike’s personal flavor. I’m comfortable saying the style is reminiscent of Chucky P for a few reasons. First, I’ve read all his novels. Second, I adapt some of his style into my own. And third, well, the “about the author” page of I Will Rise basically tells us.

I’m glad to see some new style first person minimalism breaking onto the scene. It’s tiring and a little sad to see the same style and voice in every novel, especially when they are written by different authors.

And this isn’t to say that Mr. Cavillo doesn’t have a certain literary sensibility as well. I was especially impressed with the underlying religious themes that played throughout, even getting into such structural playfulness as repeating words three times (as in the trinity?)

As much as I’d like to let my brain go into lit analysis mode, I think I’ll spare you all the pain and instead recommend you pick up a copy of I Will Rise.

6 Responses

  1. Sean Keller says:

    I WILL RISE is nothing short of amazing. Not only is it wildly original but it is also thrilling, profoundly funny and dark as pitch. I’ve not been this impressed by a debut novel since reading Iain Banks’ THE WASP FACTORY.

    I eagerly await his next novel.

  2. onipar... says:

    Thanks for weighing in, Sean. I totally agree.

  3. Jeff says:

    New poster here…Without a doubt, I WILL RISE is a very promising debut from a gifted writer. I heard somewhere that he is well-versed in music as well. Is he a musician or something?

  4. onipar... says:

    Thanks for stopping in, Jeff. Hope to see you round these parts again.

  5. Steve says:

    I’ve never read it. It sounds like it is going to find it’s way onto my book mountain though (stopped calling it a pile, it’s getting too damn big now).

    I’ve read The Wasp Factory though.It is a very good. Dark and amusing.

  6. nietzschean-ghost says:

    From reading these comments, I’ll be reading the Wasp Factory very soon.

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