LOST AND FOUND by Carolyn Parkhurst

Back in August, I blogged about Lost and Found by Carolyn Parkhurst. I just finished it. I liked it, didn’t love it. 

I am a big fan of "The Amazing Race," so I enjoyed all the background details about filming an around-the-world reality TV show.  I also liked the descriptions of the places the contestants visited and the tasks they had to complete. The best part of the book, though, is Parkhurt’s exploration of the different characters, what motivated them to come on the show, and their relationships with their partners.  The narration rotates among the characters, but the plot moves ahead steadily, thankfully with little repetition of detail or plot points.

My complaints are: 1) some characters were less well-drawn than others, which ultimately made them less compelling; 2) the gay theme (a few characters are gay – some in, some out, some in denial) is overdone – it tended to pervade the whole book; and 3) the contestants were way too cynical and unhappy for this naive TV viewer.  I watch "The Amazing Race" to escape from my own reality for an hour a week; I like to believe that the players are having fun and savoring the incredibly unique experience they’re having, regardless of whether they’re winning.  I realize that Parkhurst is satirizing the genre; I guess I didn’t need to have the genre satirized.

All of that said, Lost and Found is well-written, engaging, and entertaining. I did enjoy it and would recommend it.