Marc Phillips - The Legend of Sander Grant
Sander Grant is a giant, but that’s no surprise because he comes from a long line of giants. The Grants have been cattle ranchers in Texas since anyone can remember, and the locals have gotten used to their ten-feet-tall, seven-hundred-pound frames. Blending a kind of magic realism with epic Irving-esque American yarn-spinning, this debut novel immediately draws you into its strange world where giants descended from angels live amongst humans and where a young Sander grows up with the pressure of knowing he’s different from his classmates in many ways.
Marc Phillips has a great turn of phrase, has created some fantastically memorable characters and his sheer chutzpah pulls off a somewhat ridiculous plot involving a spiteful God. With everything at stake for Sander and his family, tensions escalate to a critical point, but the relatively lacklustre ending detracts a little from the great work that has gone before. A fine debut nonetheless.