Ok, full disclosure: I love Jamie Ford's writing. I think that Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet was the first book I read on a kindle, which was a difficult transition for me, because I have always been a book buyer. Despite the number of books I read on "devices", I still love the weight and feel of one in my hands. At some point, though, I understood the financial downside to needing to own every book I read, not to mention the rapidly decreasing amount of space to store them in my home. So, reading that first book was truly bittersweet, but thankfully, the quality of the story far outweighed my reluctance to read it on a kindle.
And though I read this book on my kindle too, I do have a couple Jamie Ford novels (and even a comic book) which he autographed when he was our guest speaker at our annual author lunch. All of that is to say again, I'm a fan, and Love and Other Consolation Prizes did nothing to change that.
Ford demonstrates his ability to create a rich, quirky, entirely engaging cast of characters, as well as his knack for finding a "truth is stranger than fiction" topic. His story begins at the 1909 Seattle World's Fair, where a 12-year-old boy is being raffled off. Seriously. If that doesn't capture your imagination, I really don't know what will.