Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The 10 must-read novels of the fall

At The Daily Beast, Janice Kaplan named the ten must-read novels of the fall.

One book to make the grade:
Exley by Brock Clarke

In this oddly brilliant book , a young boy believes his father has gone to Iraq and now lies dying in the local VA hospital. He tries to find Frederick Exley, his father’s favorite author, believing Exley’s bedside presence will save the wounded man. The boy and his psychiatrist alternate as narrators—neither is terribly reliable—and the luminously engaging plot reveals the deceptions we cling to in order to survive. “I’m telling you the truth,” the mother tells her son at the end, to which he replies, “Please don’t.” The long-dead Exley appears, though everyone understands he’s not real, and Clarke’s breathtaking creativity gives unexpected power to his quirky, touching story.
Read about the other books on the list.

The Page 99 Test: Brock Clarke's An Arsonist's Guide to Writers' Homes in New England.

--Marshal Zeringue