4 out of 4 stars
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There’s a thin line between imagination and reality.
I’ve always been a lover of creative descriptions; words painting pictures. I finally snagged a book that virtually swept me off my feet in that regard. From the opening sentence in Accumulation, it was evident that Buan Boonaca possessed a gift in the art of verbal expression. His skillful use of figures of speech, merged with colorful adjectives, produced a decorative, witty and downright entertaining read.
Delivered in the third person deep POV for the protagonist while using limited POV for other characters, the story unfolds as Cam gets set to begin his Vegas adventure with closest buddy, T, whose full name will never be known because his teacher punished him for his inability to call it at age 3. After losing all their money at the casino tables, they dejectedly leave that part of the premises only for Cam to hit a jackpot at a lower denomination gaming machine. Excitedly, they gear up to fulfill their lifelong desire of partying like rock stars. Of course, this includes getting drunk and making stupid decisions, one of which changes Cam’s life forever. He gets a tattoo. That’s just about it, right? Wrong. Every so often, someone discovers a new one on a different part of his body that Cam’s never aware of. These aren't fanciful body art or historical markings. They are strange, meaningless arrangements of lines and circles popping up sporadically. As this oddity builds to a crescendo, Cam becomes practically unrecognizable. He struggles to make out heads or tails of his predicament. To make matters worse, “a man in a long black coat with long black hair” is almost always glimpsed leaving the scene after the mysterious appearance of each new tat. Does he have something to do with this strange phenomenon? More importantly, does the nightmare spreading from his skin to his entire life ever end? You’ll have to read to find out!
Realistically developed characters dominate Boonaca’s book, Accumulation. The relationship between Cam and T is typical of male best friends and this reflects on their everyday interactions. Yet, their personalities stand out individually so that I had a hard time deciding if I preferred that to their synergistic energy. Ras, nicknamed after the Russian mystic god Rasputin, is a character straight out of a Shakespearean book. He speaks in such formal tones that my reading pace subconsciously reduces for easier analysis and comprehension. A classic Ras comment reads thus:
“...You must have been aware the artistic engineering of your epidermis would result in continual observation and scrutiny by the excess of simple-minded peons this tavern and the world overflow with.”
Fast paced, Accumulation is fraught with twists and turns that you absolutely don’t see coming. Cam severally teeters along that thin line between the real and the imagined. Using themes of self discovery, tolerance and acceptance, Boonaca explores society’s stereotyped attitude towards people who appear somewhat different from the norm. By means of Cam's experience, he confirms the age-old saying that there are always two sides to a story, even when we think the truth is obvious. Also noteworthy is the author's smooth and relaxed writing style in addition to his effortless application of humor. I found myself smiling, chuckling and out-rightly laughing throughout this breezy read.
Despite these perks, I did spot a handful of errors in this 332-page self published book, the majority of them being comma omissions after prepositional phrases/clauses. Also, there were two instances where the lack of a scene break prevented me from realizing that those particular scenes had ended. It interrupted the flow a bit but I quickly got back on track. As a result, my overall enjoyment of the story didn’t really diminish which is why I rate Accumulation a 4 out of 4 stars.
There’s a bit of mildly described, sexual innuendo however, as well as few swear words and graphic details. One may want to skip a page or two because these parts are neither frequent nor strong enough to warrant total discard of the book. Accumulation is one read that glues your eyes to its pages and I recommend it to all, especially those who have had to deal with intense scrutiny from judgmental eyes as well as any who have taken definitive measures to live life despite such trials. There’s a teeny-tiny window for a sequel, supposing the author deems it fit, and I certainly look forward to reading more from him.
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