"Diminished Capacity" Sherwood Kiraly

Posted on Mon 06 October 2008 in ClubReading

It's always been Uncle Rollie's goal to publish the poetry written by the fish that live in the Mississippi River, which runs past LaPorte. And the main impediment to his doing this is not, as you might think, getting the fish to write poetry, but in getting anyone else to take their work seriously.

With a quote like that on the cover of a $.99 bargain book, how could you not buy it? It was well worth the price.

Uncle Rollie is being threatened with a nursing home, by Cooper's mother, who was married to Rollie's brother. Rollie isn't as with it as he was, although he has his moments. Cooper also isn't as with it was he was, since a head injury. The story of these two people with slightly diminished capacity is a wonderful, quick, light-hearted read. Rollie was never really with it, and Cooper never really knew what he wanted, but together they manage to figure out what's important.

Although the characters are not real people, you will likely recognize a few relatives or acquaintances in the mix. Cooper says at one point that each of the characters has a flaw or weakness. We look at ourselves and seldom see our flaws, but see them immediately in others. Kiraly points out that weaknesses do not mean the people are losers, and that strength doesn't always mean goodness.