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"Before you know it as the years go by, you're just like other people you have seen, with all those peculiar human ailments. Just another vehicle for temper and vanity and rashness and all the rest. Who wants it? Who needs it? These things occupy the place where a man's soul should be." -- Henderson the Rain King

Friday, January 26, 2007

An American Family

Book #3 on my reading list this year was Harry Crews' An American Family: The Baby With the Curious Markings.

A twisted shocker of a book, Crews' new novel reads like Stephen King's Dolores Claiborne on steriods. It's a book that pops you between the eyes, kicks you in the stomach and then cruises off into the night. But then what else would you expect from Crews?

Though it's listed as a novel, An American Family is really more like a short story clocking in at a mere 103 pages, double-spaced with large margins and plenty of blank pages between chapters. If you tried to turn this in for Novel Writing 101 you'd probably get an "incomplete" based solely on length alone. Then again the short novel seems to be all the rage these days (see Roth, Philip), so what do I know?

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