Afflicted.

I’d never heard of Russell Banks.

Which maybe isn’t saying a great deal since I haven’t heard of a lot of things but I like to think that I generally try to keep up with good authors.

But I’d never even heard of him.

I was at our local Barnes and Noble a couple a weeks ago, my heart pounding, my palms all sweaty, ’cause Miss Carol had given me a gift card for my birthday and it was book buyin’ time. Woo-hoo!!!

You gotta realize; excitement-wise, for me, a gift card to Barnes and Noble ranks right up there with a bikini-model orgy- I’m just dweebie that way.

So there I was, prowlin’ the aisles ogling at all the books like a mental patient and trying not to drool too much when I came across Russell Banks.

Have I mentioned that I’d never heard of him?

After  lookin’ at his books for a minute, I picked up Affliction and thumbed through it, reading a page here and there but I put it back ’cause I didn’t really like the font or the feel of the paper- did I mention I’m dweebie?- and moved on.

I was getting ready to check out when something about Affliction drew me back and forced me to buy it and boy howdy am I glad I did. At the risk of risking my creds, this is one of the best books I’ve read in quite a while.

It’s the story of a middle-aged man feeling trapped by family, life, luck, and circumstance in a bleak little town in New Hampshire where he’s lived his whole life. It’s an unraveling sorta story, the kind that pulls you in and keeps you wondering where it’s all gonna end but knowing it’s probably not gonna end good.

I loved it and even though it really resonated with me having had an abusive alcoholic father my-own-self, it is so beautifully written that you don’t have to have been beaten to enjoy it and empathize with the weaknesses of Wade Whitehouse, the main character.

It’s amazingly good.

In my, you know, humble opinion.

Next up- Apocalypse 2012 by Lawrence E. Joseph

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