by David Vann
Twenty-two-year-old Galen is a New Age believer on a warpath towards transcendence.
He lives with his emotionally dependent mother in a secluded house, surviving on old family money that his Aunt Helen and cousin Jennifer are determined to get their hands on.
Galen doesn't know who his father is, his abusive grandfather is dead, and his grandmother is losing her memory.
When the family takes a trip to an old cabin in the Sierras, tensions crescendo.
Caught in a compromising position, Galen will discover the shocking truth of just how far he will go to attain what it is he craves.
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 272 pages
- Publisher: Cornerstone
- Publication Date: 02/05/2013
- Category: Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)
- ISBN: 9780099558743
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Review by alexbolding
First time in a very long time indeed that I’ve read a novel by an American novelist. Surely David Vann writes in a powerful, suspense-rich manner that keeps you going where you as a reader no longer want to go. His sentences are short and sparse. His dialogues are naturally flowing, obviating the need for all kinds of punctuation. His sex scenes are hot and some of the best ever written, from the perspective of a lust filled virgin boy. Especially his remarks that intercourse beats any type of state of nirvana is much appreciated. I suspected all the time that his grandfather would prove to be also his father, but that didn’t become quite clear in the end. The boy seems quite sane when he finally completes the killing of his mom. But there are many toe-curling moments before that when I wanted to shout to either him or her to stay cool and act responsibly. I also like the toe-curling humour, like the joke Galen makes each time they pass the shopping mall, about the cake they have there. The repetition does it and the hatred of the others in the car becomes palpable at some stage.