An engagingly precocious and delusional 9-year-old narrator who channels his father’s obsession with Frederick Exley’s A Fan’s Notes distinguishes a novel that the starred Kirkus review called a “literary high-wire performance” and “a seriously playful novel about the interweave of literature and life.” It is also about the essence of storytelling—about the stories through which we interpret our lives and give them meaning, even when those stories may not be verifiably true. “The word ‘fan’ doesn't do it justice,” says Brock Clarke of his admiration for the novel that inspired this one. “A ‘believer’ might be a better way to describe how I feel about the novel. I love its use of high and low diction, its sense of terror and dread, its sense of humor, the way, just when you think Exley is too self-pitying, too much of a braggart, he admits that he’s all those things, making him or his book something much more.” Like its critically acclaimed predecessor (An Arsonist’s Guide to Writers’ Homes in New England, 2007, etc.), the novel features an essentially likable but inherently unreliable narrator. “Some essential, profound truth can come out of the unreliability, if it is in service of a greater story, a greater purpose,” says Clarke.
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Algonquin / October / 9781565126084 / $24.95
This book was featured in the Kirkus Best of 2010