Tuesday, January 27, 2009
by Lee Gowan.
Quickie Recap: As a young boy, Dwight overhears his father confess to a friend that God talked to him, and warned him that his son (Dwight) would one day kill him. And one day, he does. He kills him in, of all things, a modern-day duel to avenge his mother's death. But then the coroner explains that his mother's death was accidental and Dwight has to do some serious thinking about what he did and why he did it.
Quickie Review: Have you ever bought a book, taken it home, not read it right away, and pretty much forgotten why you got it in the first place? That's me, like 85% of the time, and I have a policy of not reading the flaps so that I might be 'surprised'. And surprised I was. First off, the narrative voice here is really compelling. Dwight is not always a sympathetic character but I was drawn to him, to this prophecy. And the strange thing is, it should be unsettling to a reader when a man's death is predicted, but in this case you almost feel like it's...deserved. But then when the mother's death is ruled an accident, the father is vindicated and it's the son who is guilty. But we can never say that the father is truly innocent. So there's this play between these two extremes that the author exploits subtly. Religion plays a part as well, inevitably, but it too does not go unchecked. I really think that Gowan has a good thing going in this book, and I foresee myself giving it a second reading sometime soon because I bet there are nuances that only a second reading can do justice.
Quickie Recommendation: Yup.