Tuesday 29 Jul 2014

Await Your Reply

By Dan Chaon

Are they running away or to something? Maybe both. Three separate stories are weaved together and rotated chapter by chapter. Their stories are not told in chronological order. It took me way too long to figure out how they combine but I felt a bit better about being a dolt when I read that Chaon himself didn’t realize how they fit together until late in the writing process. Maybe we came up with the idea at the same time?

There are elements of horror and suspense as we follow these lost souls as they leave behind fractured families. There is a constant sense of dread and anticipation of something evil about to happen. Of course that feeling is obvious when the opening chapter includes a man rushing a boy to the hospital with a severed hand in a bucket of ice. I could easily see the Coen Brother’s bringing this novel to the silver screen.

The novel’s familiar-sounding title comes from the e-mail scam in which some alleged relative of an African businessman asks you to take temporary possession of $20 million.

Good, not great. A good read that slows in the middle. It’s a good read.

Other:
I haven’t been reading Moby Dick lately even though I’m almost done. Maybe that’s why. As stated before it’s better than I thought it would be. I just picked up “And So It Goes” the biography of one of my favorite authors Kurt Vonnegut. I am still saving David Foster Wallace’s “The Pale King” but to make up for not beginning it I started reading his collected essays again in “A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again”. Santa knows me well and I got “Love is a Mix Tape” by Rob Sheffield.

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