Thursday, 10 April 2014

The Free by Willy Vlautin


The worst of fame is that it insulates you from criticism, nothing fails like success.. Editors are after all only Eng.Lit. majors and by definition inept, addled by theory flaneurs whose job it is to keep the gravy flowing. Nobody said to Vlautin ‘the dream sequence is detachable, anything detachable falls off in the end; please streamline. My gude wife who is an English and Philosophy major, what conversazione, said as much- no theory in her time. She skipped and in a short novel you should not be skipping any more than in a short story. It’s sociological as well with a lot of informational dialogue which he normally does well but here seems laden with 'previously’. The Free as in ‘The Land of’, is not going to be a good news story, America as a dystopian present as charming as nail fungus. Safety nets tend to be large mesh. Freddie ‘two job man’ and Nurse Pauline caregiving and not getting much are the poles of this story. Leroy the brain damaged Iraq vet in a coma from a suicide attempt is the link between them. Freddie is the caretaker and night watch at the home where Leroy was resident. By day he works at the paint store, his house which once was paid for is now double mortgaged to pay the medical bills for his daughter who lives with his wife. There are no intact marriages, nobody eats health food, late model cars are a rumour, are there any donuts left?

Look, it’s still better than Donna Tart. Maybe he should give up the band and work at the day job.

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