1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
A writers' writer, and a future classic!,
This review is from: The Last Good Chance: A Novel (Paperback)
I find hilarious the pseudo-reviewer below who dismissed this book as "boring," as if that didn't say reams more about the reader than the writer. Put down that Pynchon, mister! Or that Beckett, or Joyce, or any book by any challenging, chance-taking author. Tom Barbash's assured, moving and memorable debut novel belongs in that category. Think "The Corrections" minus the Oprah factor.
"The Last Good Chance" is about old friendships, about how the conventions of loyalty can push us into unexpected territory, about how even frayed and faded ties can bind. But it's also about how the character of place itself--in this case, the acutely-drawn Lakeland, a moribund upstate New York town so provincial Barbash has the residents dreaming of Philadelphia "as though it were Paris." What's impressive is how he weaves an intricate plot without ever trying to manipulate the reader into thinking or feeling a particular way. The characters are calmly, starkly sketched, then the story unfolds with a measured sense of inevitabillity. It's a casual honesty that just keeps compounding, with devastating effect.
Tom Barbash has a reputation as a "writers' writer", and for good reason. Read "The Last Good Chance" and you'll see what I mean.