Chucks is a novel by Cornelia Travnicek.
Finished on: 26.8.2015
Punk Mae has spent a lot of time on the streets with her friends, because she definitely didn’t want to spend time with her mother. Or school. Not after her brother’s death. That’s also the reason that she moved in with Jakob, her boyfriend. Mae has to do community service hours in the HIV/Aids center in Vienna. There she meets Paul who is a patient there and irresistible. Without much ado, Mae packs her bags and moves in with him, leaving the dependable but boring Jakob behind.
Chucks is a nice book with an unconventional and vibrant protagonist that I liked reading about. I enjoyed it.
Chucks is a short book and a quick read. Mostly that’s because Travnicek doesn’t spend much time dwelling on details in her writing – she often works with implications and insinuations rather than spelling things out which whisks you through the story. But that tempo is also in juxtaposition to the disjointed, often achronological sequencing of the story which creates a nice bit of engaging tension.
But even more engaging than Travnicek’s writing style, which sometimes pretends to be a little more artsy than it is, is Mae, the protagonist: a young woman who is willful and moody, whose decisions aren’t always (readily) understandable, who is angry and caring, afraid of commitment and committing to everything all at once. I don’t know if I like her or if I would like to meet her in real life, but I loved reading about her.
With an unusual protagonist you’re bound to get an unusual ending and that’s definitely the case here. It’s kinda happy but also sad and I definitely didn’t expect the story to go there, but I liked it. As I liked the entire novel.
Summarizing: Not bad at all. Sweet and entertaining with just the right amount of “literary prose” to have it not be work.