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Atticus: A Novel Paperback – January 16, 1997
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Intrusion: A Novel
A loving couple, grieving the loss of their son, finds their marriage in free fall when a beautiful, long-lost acquaintance inserts herself into their lives. Learn More
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About the Author
Ron Hansen is the bestselling author of the novel Atticus (a finalist for the National Book Award), Hitler's Niece, Mariette in Ecstasy, Desperadoes, and Isn't It Romantic?, as well as a collection of short stories, a collection of essays, and a book for children. The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford was a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award. Ron Hansen lives in northern California, where he teaches at Santa Clara University.
Top Customer Reviews
This is good, because I am not much of a mystery reader. For my taste, the willing suspension of disbelief that most mysteries require is too much to stomach, and I get disappointed way before the end.
Atticus is terrific. Not only it is a beautiful story about a father and his prodigal son. It is also an engaging murder mystery with an amazing plot. I was truly surprised at the resolution of the story. There was very little in the plot to suggest that this was how everything would end.
The writing was sincere and powerful. Such beautiful similes: "Awkward as a box full of shoes". What an evident and mundane thing to say, and how exquisite. "... the water was as tepid and clear as Perrier but from a distance had the turquoise color of kitchens in the fifties". The description of the wild Mexican landscape, the people of Resurrección, all done to perfection. This was a tactile novel, where you could see and smell and feel what the characters were experiencing.
The love that Atticus feels for his son Scott, no matter how messed up, rotten and selfish Scott has been, is so sincere and pure and beyond all reproach that it brought tears to my eyes in more than one occasion. This is one of the best books I have read this year. Do not let this one go by.
However, when he arrives, all is not what it seems. As Atticus puts the pieces of the puzzle together, he begins to suspect murder.
The first half of the novel unravels like an unexpected murder mystery, taking the reader along various paths and turns. The last half of the novel is written from a first-person perspective.
Hansen ably recasts the Prodigal Son story, helping bring a contemporary spin to the tale. By so doing, he allows the reader to imagine the "failings" of the son and the love of the father in a much clearer way. Hansen has a way with words even when he tends to over-describe at times.
His male characters are far better developed than his female. So obsessed with the physical beauty of Renata in the book's first half, she comes across as more of a stereotype than a character.
Overall, the novel is compelling. It's a nice mix of artsy-novel and murder mystery rolled into one.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Atticus is a love story, not about romantic love which can come and go, but about parental love which is constant and unconditional--a father's unceasing love for his modern-day... Read morePublished 9 months ago by gammyraye
Ron Hansen has written an appealing and surprisingly non-formulaic detective novel set in Mexico. I enjoyed his frequent use of literary allusions and short, familiar phrases from... Read morePublished on May 15, 2014 by Mitzi Humphrey
I recently became a Ron Hansen fan after reading his historical novel The Assassination of Jesse James By the Coward Robert Ford, one of the best reads I've enjoyed in years. Read morePublished on September 10, 2009 by D. Mikels
Atticus is a story of Atticus Cody, who learns of his son, Scott's, suicide in Mexico, and goes on a search for the truth. Ron Hansen uses suspense and mystery in this writing. Read morePublished on August 28, 2007 by Valerie I. Godsey
When I began reading Atticus I didn't realize I was going to be reading a mystery novel. If I had known it was a mystery novel I probably would have put the book back down. Read morePublished on September 5, 2006 by Jonathon Mooney
How does the mysterious loss of a loved one drive a person to do almost anything to find out the truth? This is the question explored in Ron Hansen's Atticus. Read morePublished on September 18, 2005 by Kumbamoses
This was my first time reading a book by Hansen, and frankly I was not impressed. The book is about a Colorado rancher who leaves for Mexico after the suicide of his son. Read morePublished on September 12, 2005 by Waylander "Eric T"
Atticus is an interesting and suspenseful read. At first, it seemed a little slow with the description of Atticus, a Colorade oil man, and his quiet life. Read morePublished on April 27, 2005 by Shannon F.