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Like his debut novel, Calling Mr. King (2011), in which a successful hit man discovers a love for art and architecture and begins to question his profession, De Feo’s latest features a man who must reconcile his past life with his present reality. Mr. Ott is a resident of a psych ward in New York, hospitalized after a breakdown that left him bruised, incoherent, and stricken with fear that he may gradually fade away. But Ott has been rehabilitated enough to earn temporary release. He heads to his abandoned apartment but not before memories of his unforgiving ex-wife and psychiatrist-cum-saboteur threaten to destabilize what precious sanity he’s restored. The remnants of Ott’s former life cause his fragile sense of coherence, as well as his memories about the events that preceded his hospitalization, to unravel. This has been in the works for years, with portions appearing as early as 1988 in the Hudson Review. The result is a quirky, funny tale that forces the reader to question the line between inside and outside, insanity and normalcy, confinement and freedom. --Diego Báez
"A quirky, funny tale that forces the reader to question the line between inside and outside, insanity and normalcy, confinement and freedom." -Booklist Online
"Some parts of the book were really quite funny and others were heartbreakingly sad. The characters were all very human and parts of the storyline kept me guessing. I will definitely seek out more from this author." -Reading in Progress
"In this highly engaging novel, Ott presents his version of events, but we are still able to see cracks in the narrative, and eventually a well-formed picture of what really happened emerges...Ultimately, author De Feo shows that the weight of conformity and a desire to belong to a social group can be both a terrible burden, an overwhelming challenge, and oddly enough a liberating choice." -Swiftly Tilting Planet