Enchanters Vs. Sprawlburg Springs, The: By Brian Costello, 193 pages. By Megan Pants

Dec 04, 2006

At its most basic, it’s a story about a guy. Guy joins band (The Enchanters), guy falls in love, guy finds niche of like minds amidst the suburbs. The basic plot is familiar, but the approach and the telling are both unique. Costello’s language and attention to detail immediately draw you into the story. Lines like, “Driving under an orange creamsicle sky through the gently winding neighborhood,” are used against some of the sharper images in the book which adds a nice contrast. The Enchanters, though drunk on cough syrup when they’re above legal drinking age, and wearing orange face paint and football helmets, actually come off as believable and relatable, which is no easy feat. Story-wise, I have no complaints, but overall I have two complaints. The first is that towards the end of the book, in “The Aftermath, Chapter One,” the narrator’s voice shifts suddenly. It feels like it was written as a personal essay on touring. It’s fantastic, and even as much as I liked the book, I liked this chapter more. But the trouble is that it just doesn’t seem to fit. The second problem I had was with the editing. There are a lot of errors (some in structure, some in situations like using “know” instead of “no”) that made reading difficult to understand. I found myself having to go back over sections to understand what was actually being said. I have always stood by the fact that I would rather read a good story rather than a perfectly punctuated one, and this definitely has a story worth reading. –Megan (Featherproof, 2201 W. Iowa St. #3,Chicago, IL. 60622)

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