Just has long observed the fault lines in human nature and a person's moral code. In his 15th novel (after the 2005 Pulitzer finalist, An Unfinished Season), Just, using an unlikely hero, sets his journalist's eye on the ethically fraught war on terror. Thomas Railles is a 65-year-old American expatriate portrait painter of moderate fame who lives with his French wife, Florette, in a Pyrenees village. When Florette goes for a solitary walk in the mountains and is killed by Moroccan terrorists, Railles blames himself for her death: two of his childhood friends now work in intelligence, and he has pulled several "odd jobs" for them over the years, including one that may have inspired this belated "payback." When he eventually faces one of Florette's killers, Railles must decide whether to avenge her death or find a different peace of mind. "Forgetfulness is the old man's friend," he muses, but he is aware of the irony. The ethical questions of Just's tale add moral heft to an emotionally charged narrative. Author tour. (Sept. 6)
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A well-respectedif generally underappreciatedwriter for more than three decades, Ward Just, who began his writing career as a journalist for Newsweek and the Washington Post, evokes a strong sense of place and character in Forgetfulness, his fifteenth novel. Previous novels of his have been short-listed for the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award (see below). The story that Just tells herethriller, psychological character study, social commentaryfills a gap in what critics see as a dearth of serious, nuanced fiction dealing with terrorism and related issues in the wake of 9/11. Just's novel resonates with critics in a way that John Updike's recent effort, Terrorist (**1/2 Sept/Oct 2006), did not.
Copyright © 2004 Phillips & Nelson Media, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.See all Editorial Reviews
The book is like a series of loosely connected character studies, like something from an artist's sketchpad or a writer's notebook. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Brenda Teese
This is the kind of novel wherein the reader looks forward to dialogue, let alone plot development. Just is a good enough writer to pull it off and be interesting. Read morePublished 11 months ago by algo41
A serious thoughtful novel, well written and well thought out. This a novel that makes the reader think about life and about his/her own personal odyssey.Published 13 months ago by Desmond
An okay book - interesting writer but not great, not as compelling as I would have hoped it would be.Published on January 7, 2013 by Ellen of Studio City, CA
Seems like the other half of the story is still hidden in the authors head. Very awkward writing style, hard to read, and stay engaged.Published on November 20, 2012 by rds
I sincerely hope that this work of Ward Just becomes an American classic. It stunningly depicts two of the greatest psychic pains that a human being can suffer. Read morePublished on August 18, 2012 by Philosopher John
Ward Just's novels are of our times and can be read for pleasure or on a deeper level involving relationships between fathers and sons, lovers, political allies or enemies, writers... Read morePublished on June 7, 2012 by helen harvey mills
Ward Just sets off a different kind of thriller with Florette Railes' taking an after-dinner walk in the woods outside her home. Read morePublished on November 23, 2011 by Parrott