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Anastasia

Pilot Hill, CA, United States | Member Since 2007

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  • A Disorder Peculiar to the Country: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By Ken Kalfus
    • Narrated By James Boles
    Overall
    (29)
    Performance
    (4)
    Story
    (3)

    Joyce and Marshall Harriman are in the midst of a contentious divorce. On the morning of September 11, Joyce departs for Newark to catch a flight to San Francisco, and Marshall heads for his office in the World Trade Center. She misses her flight and he's late for work, but on that grim day each thinks the other is dead, and each is secretly, shamefully, gloriously happy. In this astonishing black comedy, Kalfus suggests how our nation's public calamities have encroached upon our most private illusions.

    Michael Jones says: "Divorce: 9/11 Style"
    "Very dark, brilliantly written"
    Overall

    The best and most important books I've ever read have often made me uncomfortable and compelled me to question long held beliefs, behaviors, and values. This brilliantly written, dark, and frequently disheartening book will stick with me for a long time. Not an easy, relaxing read, it nevertheless was like a car crash;I couldn't turn away for very long.

    This is not an easy read. One particular scene that stands out for me involves a bunch of disaffected white party goers. One of them pays a black youth to strip and do a slow dance (in exchange for "two Benjamins"). As the whites mock the youth, he struggles to retain his dignity. This is truly the worst that humans can do to one another. I wanted to stop reading--but couldn't.

    Such was the case with much of this book. But it is worth sticking with. I agree with the other reviewer who insists this is not a black comedy; there is little to laugh at here. It is unquestionably dark, an uncompromising look at how we treat one another when we want what we want.

    An important and thought-provoking work, Kalfus's book is beautifully written and well-narrated.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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