Facts:

▪   Book: Bert

▪   Author: Herb Robertson

▪   Genre: Fiction

▪   Year of Release: 2011

▪   Read 209-page paperback edition in December 2013.

Book Description: This book follows a number of stories in the life of Bert, a Canadian immigrant from the United Kingdom.  Bert shares with the narrator a number of tales that have helped shape his life over the years, from a childhood with a strict and quiet father to life as a young-adult immigrant making his way in the jazz and big band music scene in Canada and the USA.  Bert meets a diverse array of characters along the way, and learns about life and himself in the process

Book Review: This book is a fascinating tale written in a unique style.  This is the first published work by the author, and he has taken some very interesting approaches in writing about a complex, nuanced, imperfect character.  The author does a great job showcasing a character who we sometimes feel sorry for, and sometimes get very angry at.  It is a true picture of the imperfect human, who sometimes makes mistakes, sometimes learns from them, but overall is still a person worth caring about at the end of the day, someone who has a good heart.  The author does a great job demonstrating the character’s varied emotions and life successes and challenges through the years, with disparate scenes and chapters of his life.  The author makes some great points throughout the novel.  One downside of the novel is there are a few chapters which feel a little lengthy and overly-written, where too much detail is shared for not enough payoff.  When the story is about the character and his relationships with others, it is fantastic.  It sometimes meanders into details that aren’t as important or interesting.  However, this happens only in a few instances, and overall this is an enjoyable novel about the exploration of a complex character.

Overall: 3.5 stars out of 5.

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