Sunday, April 15, 2007

Book 14: The Double Bind by Chris Bohjalian

I read this book on recommendation from a woman I work with. She and I enjoy a fair amount of the same reading material and often will suggest books to one another. She actually brought this one to me, so I was obliged to read it this weekend.

The Double Bind deals with a woman who works in a homeless shelter. One of the men they helped dies and they find in his possessions a box of photographs of very famous people and places...including Jay Gatsby's home in West Egg. The story follows that this homeless man was actually the son of Tom and Daisy Buchanan, born after Pammy. The narrator embarks on a journey to figure out everything that remained mysterious at the end of The Great Gatsby...except as it happened "in real life" and not as the novel we all know.

It was an amazing story with very few flaws. Bohjalian used "myriad" four times--about three times too many in a novel, and there were some...I guess I'll call them puns for want of a better word that seemed really trite but ended up making perfect sense at the conclusion of the book.

Overall, highly recommend this book to any Gatsby fans. You do need to know the book fairly well in order to understand all of the levels that are occurring at any given time. All in all, it was a really crazy and cool way to spend some time: reading the "true life" story of a man who has always been only fiction.

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