eBook - 1990
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Wade Whitehouse is an improbable protagonist for a tragedy. A well-digger and policeman in a bleak New Hampshire town, he is a former high-school star gone to beer fat, a loner with a mean streak. Wade comes to loom in one's mind as a blue-collar American Everyman afflicted by the dark secret of the macho tradition.
Publisher: New York : HarperPerennial, 1990, c1989
Edition: 1st HarperPerennial ed
ISBN: 9780062123145
Characteristics: 1 online resource (355 p.)


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Feb 10, 2015

"The great enigma of human life is not suffering but affliction."-Simone Weil
From the author of "The Sweet Hereafter" and "Cloudsplitter," an intense and powerful novel about small town life, fathers and sons, and the violence inherent in men. Narrated by the protagonist's brother, it plays about like a mystery; Wade Whitehouse has disappeared and his story, involving his abusive, alcoholic father, his ex-wife and daughter, and a hunting accident that he thinks is murder, is related. The rural poverty of a small New England town is a setting that Banks has in common with Richard Russo, but Russo finds the humor amidst the defeat, while Banks finds tragedy. Made into a film with Nick Nolte, James Coburn, and Willem Defoe.

Dec 20, 2014

Banks is a masterful writer, and this is a powerful, though bleak, exposition of economic frustration and masculine repression in a world of blue-collar work in rural New Hampshire. Banks' empathy can create sympathetic characters out of virtually anyone. My only criticism is his use of the narrative voice--a character in the novel, who is not actually present for 99% of the story.


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