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Affliction transmutes Banks's painful past into fiction. His divorced protagonist, Wade Whitehouse, 41, is imprisoned by fate in Lawford, New Hampshire, a hell frozen over. He digs wells for chump change, lives in a trailer, drinks, and alienates his daughter by dragging her to a miserable Halloween costume party. In two weeks' time, Wade demolishes his pitiable hopes of family happiness, drawn into a rigorously plausible series of disastrous deaths. In flashbacks to his Dad-abused youth, we see how Wade wound up such a Dostoyevskian clown.
Banks has a mind of winter: when Wade sees his dead parent, the scene unfolds with the cold logic of ice-crystal formation. The story is narrated by Wade's kid brother, the family's sole escapee to college, in a cool, distanced way. Both brothers contain aspects of Banks, but each breaks free of autobiography. This is one haunting novel.
An incredible novel, Affliction is a gorgeous work of prose that outlines the steady decline and unraveling of one man in the face of a standard rubric of a modern American cycle... Read morePublished 4 months ago by Garrett Zecker
Affliction is a beautifully written book. The characters are believable and drawn well, and you care about each one. Read morePublished 4 months ago by C. Adams
Easily the most boring book I have read. Do not waste your time. I almost stopped in the middle several times.Published 6 months ago by LAM4
I really liked Rule of the Bone by Russel Banks, but I haven't like anything else I've tried to read by him. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Duke Nukem
Very, very depressing --- I am a former New Englander, and I understand the subdued landscapes, the poverty, the stand-dead-still small town life in some places. Read morePublished 13 months ago by Cynthia Davis
It's very depressing as we watch the main character lose his grip on life in a small new england town. Read morePublished 15 months ago by Andrew G. Bourassa
Book came in good shape and I enjoyed the read. It is fine story about NH seems like it is truePublished 20 months ago by DanBrennan
This is probably one of the best novels I've ever had the pleasure to read. The characters are fully alive, neither of them completely likable or unlikable, ambivalent just like... Read morePublished 21 months ago by Gabriele Obkirchner