Claus: Legend of the Fat Man

Claus: Legend of the Fat Man - Tony Bertauski I must admit I didn't enjoy this book as much as the other one I read from the author. Nevertheless, it was enjoyable in its own right, and proved a gripping read.

It was also a somewhat weird novel, in that some things in it that might have thrown me off-course actually proved palatable in the end. The idea of the elves as a science-based civilization is so different than the usual take on the whole North Pole/Santa Claus/elves vision that even though it seemed weird at first, it very soon left me going all "Sure, why not?", and discovering it became an enjoyment in and of itself. Same went with Jack's antics: in the very beginning, I thought they'd be unnerving... but then, all of a sudden, I realized that I was actually waiting to see him come into the story again, with his crazy ways of acting and the way he would treat the people around him.

The story also tackles touchy themes, such as the loss of memory (which is probably worse than dying for some people, at least) and how gestures (or lack thereof) seen as insignificant, or overlooked, in the past may give birth to a monster. Those are part of the themes I can easily be brought to appreciate in a fictional setting.

I think the one thing that left me hesitant was the 19th century aspect of "Claus". I couldn't relate to those parts of the story—being an avid reader and student of 19th century litterature, I didn't find the 'feeling' I would expect from the chapters about the Santas' life before arriving amon the elves. I probably wouldn't have minded as much hadn't I already had quite a pile of previous readings behind me, though. Still, it happened. That's too bad.

Otherwise, if you like different takes and original twists on very traditional tales, go for it.