At the start of another pitiless winter, the wolves have come for the children of Keelut. Three children have been taken from this isolated Alaskan village, including the six-year-old son of Medora and Vernon Slone. Saken with grief and seeking consolation, Medora contacts nature writer and wolf expert Russell Core. Sixty years old, ailing in both body and spirit, and estranged from his daughter and wife, Core arrives in Keelut to investigate the killings.
Echoing a narrative line that includes Kurt Vonnegut and Joseph Heller, William Giraldi’s Busy Monsters has been hailed as one of the most exciting fiction debuts in years. Penned with a linguistic bravado that explores the diaphanous line between fiction and fact, this "very funny, very inventive dbut novel" (The New Yorker) has at last revived the great American picaresque tradition.
Wolves have come for the children, three have been taken from an isolated Alaskan village, including the six-year-old boy of Medora and Vernon Slone. Wolf expert Russell Core arrives in Keelut to investigate the killings and learns of the horrifying darkness at the heart of Medora. As Core attempts to rescue Medora from her husband’s vengeance, he comes face to face with the untamed animal in the soul of every human being.
Moby-Dick remains the Great American Novel not only because it couldn’t have been written by anyone other than an American, but because it alone wields the capaciousness to include the whole of American individualism, the Richter-scale collision of American mind and soul, the sacred grasp of the profane, that barbarous striving toward both a rumored heaven and a welcoming hell. We are interested in Melville’s life chiefly because we are interested in the violence of his art, because art is not enough.
In defense of depressing literature.
Reading, like religion, can boast of this: If it gets you young it’s got you good. But both, as you know, have been singed by flashier pursuits: religion by celebrity, books by screens. “Book culture” indeed sounds more and more like a contradiction these days, a contradiction that kisses paradox, since there have never been so many books; in 2013, Forbes reported that between 600,000 and 1,000,000 books are published each year in the U.S. alone. The eyes, however, are elsewhere.
Why we need physical books.
Why writers want fans who last forever.
Let's forget for a moment and get right to a more accurate, and ominous, conjugation: The artist in America is being starved, systemically and without shame. In this land of untold bounty - what is usually called, in a kind of blustering spasm, the richest empire on earth - the American creative class has been forced to brook a historic economic burden while also being sunk into sunless irrelevancy.