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Exley Paperback – September 1, 2011
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Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
First, the characters are wildly created and completely unpredictable. It starts with Miller, or M-, who is a child prodigy on a quest to find his father who left the family suddenly and without explanation. He's a weird little kid, but likable, and you can't help but feel sympathy for him as he misses his dad. The only explanation he can find is that his father must have left for Iraq (they live in an army base town), and this explanation doesn't sit well with his mother. She arranges for him to meet with a psychiatrist to discuss Miller's `wild imagination'. Miller and the doctor form a tentative relationship, with Miller's explanations sounding more reasonable than anyone else's.
The key to all of this, to separate it from any number of books about dysfunctional families, is Exley. Frederick Exley, is the author of A Fan's Notes, the favorite book of Miller's father. His father's so tied to Exley's books that when he gets a phone call on 9/11 to tell him to turn on the television, he can't be bothered. He's too busy re-reading the book. The book becomes Miller's only connection to his dad. He carries on his father's obsession and turns to Exley (or at least anything even remotely related to Exley or his writing) to bring him back. With book in hand, he searches all over Watertown to find a connection and an explanation. In between searching, he teaches his father's English class at the Junior College, meets a mysterious young woman who may have known his father, and visits the VA hospital searching for clues.Read more ›
And I'm sure I'm in welcome company here since I'm skeptical anybody would be reading this book who hadn't read and adored A Fan's Notes.
Anyhow, if that's you, I can tell you this: this book has NOTHING to offer you. Zilch. Clarke makes up a story of some kid with mental problems and blah blah blah. Actually, it would have been a lot better if it had merely been an honest explanation of why Clarke liked the book so much and how it affected him. The only effect Clarke's book has is really just to get you in the mood for reading A Fan's notes again, not further chapters of Clarke's book.
Several quotes from A Fan's Notes are sprinkled throughout, and those are of course good. But in terms of "added value" -- the depth and insight Clarke adds above that -- there's nothing to speak of.
The chapters switch back and forth between M's point of view and case study notes taken by the psychiatrist. As each chapter unravels, the story functions like a series of Russian nesting dolls, where you assume each time you've gotten to the bottom of things, but you can never be sure.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I loved the book Exley by Brock Clarke! Such a fantastic composition, it made me cry. Beautiful, just so...beautiful! Read morePublished on June 9, 2011 by P.S. Gibson
Brock Clark's masterful characterization kept me reading this book. I thought it would be a light summer-by-the-pool read, but it was really better suited as a chapter-a-night kind... Read morePublished on March 14, 2011 by payingForSchool
I loved Exley. I think I should be clear and up-front about that at the very beginning because the book itself is anything but "clear" and "up-front". Read morePublished on January 28, 2011 by manly-but-bookish
I can't imagine why this book got any good reviews. It's not 'readable', in that its prose is purposefully awkward, and it has ONE mystery (where is Miller's dad? Read morePublished on December 1, 2010 by Timothy Hackworth
Too many things in this book didn't come together. The author must have realized this because he makes a mad dash at the end to tell the reader what's going on. Read morePublished on November 8, 2010 by Josie Renwah