Friday, June 14, 2013

Book Review: Enon

Paul Harding, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Tinkers has written a new novel titled Enon. It hits bookstores in early September, but interested readers can pre-order the book now at Amazon.com.


While rich in its prose, Enon is one of the most depressing books I've ever read. Our protagonist, Charlie Crosby, looses his daughter in a terrible accident and it causes his entire life to unravel. For some there is a voyeuristic pleasure in observing, from a safe distance, the depravity of a lost soul and novels (like this) and movies (I point you to American Beauty) that feed this appetite satisfy. For others, watching hurt and damaged people wrestle with demons to no avail in an agonizing dance that continues long after the music stops is painful and horrifying. I am in the latter grouping and so this book is not for me. Not for me at all. In short: do you find enjoyment in reading about drug addiction, overwhelming penetrative grief, isolation, and despair? In turning page after page to find the misery and sorrow just go on and on? Then this book is for you. Otherwise, not so much.

Also, a mild criticism on the voice that is given to Charlie: he is painted as an everyday blue collar handyman by trade, presumed to be lacking a college education, and yet his inner dialogue is quite intellectual. Works as a grunt, but thinks like a scholar? This seems contradictory.

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