peteg's blog - noise - books - 2021 09 14 AtticusLish TheWarForGloria

Atticus Lish: The War for Gloria.

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Kindle. It feels like a long while since his first novel, but perhaps that's just the times. I was disconcerted to read that this effort was substantially funded by his father.

Briefly we're in working-class Boston in the midst of a mother decaying from ALS while her devoted high-school son attempts to care for her while getting through school and managing his complex relationship with his father. There's some unskilled construction work, mixed martial arts, an aspiration to become a Navy SEAL, and a perspective on the incels that will probably be passed on by. Some it smells of Dennis Lehane. I can't say I understood the point of Adrian or found him to be well developed. Physics and mathematics are gestured at as places of incontrovertible truth, tarnished by humans who overclaim.

Lish keeps us unbalanced all the way along, and not by selectively withholding information but by keeping his vantage tight. At various points I wondered if the (omniscient) narrator was reliable, which is clearly intentional. Towards the end we get something of an Ann Patchett wrap up, a few 25th Hour alterna-futures, which I felt left some of the main themes unresolved.

Dwight Garner. Harvey Keitel as Leonard? That'd make it Holy Smoke!. Goodreads makes it seem that the ladies did not go for it, but here's Martha Anne Toll for NPR. She seems to miss that Lish consciously juxtaposes structured and unstructured violence. Andre Dubus III. And we wait for the next one.