Friday, 6 November 2009

Legend of a Suicide by David Vann


This is a terrifically arch book. It is an amalgam of genres, including autobiography, memoir and fiction. I believe it is supposed to be One Thing. As I say, it is arch, very much the product of creative writing courses, written for the academy. Which is a shame because the central story, about an almost comically inept father and his son trapped on an island off Alaska approaches a Tolstoyan grandeur and simplicity at moments. Unfortunately it, too, is spoilt by creative writing-itis, as the point of view shifts mid-way from son to father for a reason I shall not give away (although it is preposterous). So some good stuff and I certainly couldn't do better. Has a lot of fish business in it.

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