Vous voulez voir cette page en français ? Cliquez ici.

Sign in to turn on 1-Click ordering.
Amazon Prime Free Trial required. Sign up when you check out. Learn More
More Buying Choices
Have one to sell? Sell yours here
Tell the Publisher!
I'd like to read this book on Kindle

Don't have a Kindle? Get your Kindle here, or download a FREE Kindle Reading App.

Affliction [Paperback]

Russell Banks
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 19.95
Price: CDN$ 14.56 & FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25. Details
You Save: CDN$ 5.39 (27%)
o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o
Only 1 left in stock (more on the way).
Ships from and sold by Amazon.ca. Gift-wrap available.
Want it delivered Thursday, July 31? Choose One-Day Shipping at checkout.


Amazon Price New from Used from
Hardcover --  
Paperback CDN $14.56  
Mass Market Paperback --  
Join Amazon Student in Canada

Book Description

Sept. 29 1998
Wade Whitehouse, divorced, estranged from his young daughter, spends his days as a well-driller, snow-plow operator, and policeman, his nights in a wind-swept trailer park. But when a union boss is killed in an apparent hunting accident near Wade's home, and he is convinced that it is murder, he seizes the event as a chance to right many wrongs - unaware that as he unravels the mystery he himself will become unravelled. Soon his hunger for justice and self-respect become inseparable from a desperate violence.

Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought

Product Details

Product Description

From Amazon

If Russell Banks hadn't become a writer, he thinks he would have wound up stabbed to death in a barroom brawl. He is the son of a two-fisted, drunken New England plumber, and the grief of fatherly combat resonates through his work like the background radiation of the big bang. Banks became a violently drinking plumber himself--and then a Pulitzer Prize-nominated Princeton literary giant and one of the luckiest Oscar-buzzed writers in Hollywood history.

(The Atom Egoyan adaptation of Banks's brilliant novel The Sweet Hereafter perfectly captures its brooding beauty, and Affliction may be Paul Schrader's finest film since he wrote Taxi Driver.)

Affliction transmutes Banks's painful past into fiction. His divorced protagonist, Wade Whitehouse, 41, is imprisoned by fate in Lawford, New Hampshire, a hell frozen over. He digs wells for chump change, lives in a trailer, drinks, and alienates his daughter by dragging her to a miserable Halloween costume party. In two weeks' time, Wade demolishes his pitiable hopes of family happiness, drawn into a rigorously plausible series of disastrous deaths. In flashbacks to his Dad-abused youth, we see how Wade wound up such a Dostoyevskian clown.

Banks has a mind of winter: when Wade sees his dead parent, the scene unfolds with the cold logic of ice-crystal formation. The story is narrated by Wade's kid brother, the family's sole escapee to college, in a cool, distanced way. Both brothers contain aspects of Banks, but each breaks free of autobiography. This is one haunting novel.

From Publishers Weekly

In this masterful novel Banks ( Continental Drift ) returns to the decaying region of Catamount, N.H. Harrowed by snow and bone-freezing cold for the several days of the novel's duration, Lawford is an old mill town, the home of protagonist Wade Whitehouse, 41. Divorced, inept, confused, stubborn, Wade lives in a rusting trailer and works with doglike fidelity at small jobs as the town's cop, well-digger, and snowplow driver. He has abused his family, after being brutalized as a boy by his drunken father, abuse that continues even now. Yet Wade, afflicted with a nostalgic, "romantic" streak, wants to rebuild the trust of his ungiving daughter Jill, 10, who tersely judges him through the tiger mask of her Halloween costume (part of the novel's theme of tragic drama). Wade's dream--of making a home for Jill and "Pop," and marrying the goodhearted waitress Margie--slowly erodes. His obsession that a hunting accident is really a murder drives him to violent deeds that may try credibility unless the reader sees the end, like the beginning, in tribal, near-mythic terms. Deerhunters' gunshots punctuate the action; guns and vehicles dominate as conspicious symbols of contradictory male needs to bond and to kill. Wade's fateful story is narrated compellingly by his brother Rolfe, a history teacher who bases his quest for truth on memory, testimony and intuition. 25,000 first printing; $25,000 ad/promo; author tour.
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
Browse Sample Pages
Front Cover | Copyright | Excerpt
Search inside this book:

Sell a Digital Version of This Book in the Kindle Store

If you are a publisher or author and hold the digital rights to a book, you can sell a digital version of it in our Kindle Store. Learn more

Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars not for me Nov. 14 2013
By toulu
I just didn't entre. Kept reading every night for week hoping at one point I will enjoy. Quite for now dont if I will get back to it.
Was this review helpful to you?
4.0 out of 5 stars Early, Long, Forever Winter May 9 2002
By L. Dann
This is a tough book. It is the last years of a family that has lived in the miseries of violence and addiction. These are always complicated sooner or later by poverty and loss of soul. The very landscape has been beaten up and bought up and drilled to make it little more than a ghost of nature. Twisted and tortuous is the path of the lives and the land. The buildings are erected similarly, no beauty and not much comfort. The people who have the money are not at all nice to the ones who haven't. Corruption, exploitation and every now and then somebody gets brave enough to take off. Wade, our everyman, has a friend who made it, and he wonders after a certain amount of booze, on certain nights, if he might be able to do the same. But he knows he won't. This is a land of trailer parks perched on concrete slabs, where people fight and love in bars, with half working neon signs casting eery shadows over treacherous, icy roads.
Wade Whitehouse is a large man, with strength, sex appeal and a wound racing through him like the Mississippi and all its tributaries. His tale is told through his brother, the questionable survivor, who went to college, got out, has a career, and isn't a blackout drunk. There is the sister turned evangelical Christian, with her own frightening, crazy children. There are the ghosts of the two other brothers, dead together in some offensive in Nam. They too, haunt the bizarre story, a mystery, a murder, and the climax of a legacy.
My friends in Maine were simply out of their minds over Banks, and out of respect from these Chicagoan, Wisconsin transplants whose art awakenings I had shared, I entered into these readings seriously.
Read more ›
Was this review helpful to you?
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfection May 6 2002
One of the finest novels in the last 25 years. The most convincing and natural dialogue I have ever read. Russell Banks is the America's best living novelist, and this is his masterpiece.
Was this review helpful to you?
5.0 out of 5 stars wayyyy cool April 24 2002
By "rp7mf"
dude, this book was rad. it was so funny when the little girl cries because her dad of her dad beat her dad. i liked the ending because the brother talks about people working at video stores and video stores are cool. read this book anyd you will see what im talking about.
Was this review helpful to you?
5.0 out of 5 stars Rugged, tough as nails -- and powerful Dec 25 2001
By A Customer
There are a lot of books out there by "cowboy poets" or sort of macho-ish writers. "Affliction" has no such pretensions, but it's more austere, rugged, and well-crafted than the best of them.
You can read the other reviews for the plot. I won't repeat it. I'll just say this: The relationship between fathers and sons haunts this book like a curse passed down through the generations, and the dynamic of that relationship--and the way it affects the men's lives--gives this book its enormous depth, compassion, and power to shock. An unforgettable read. Really a great novel of American man.
Was this review helpful to you?
5.0 out of 5 stars Post Modern Alienation Nov. 26 2001
Russell Bank's books are always good. This one is top notch: more Post Modern alienation at its best.
Was this review helpful to you?
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Bank's great Nov. 17 2001
Why do bad things happen to good people? Because their parents (stink). At least that's one of the messages that Russell Banks conveys in this dark tale of past abuses causing irrepriable emotional scars. Banks, once again, clearly illustrates that we are, at times, a product of our parents' emotional well being. Wade Whitehouse is a drinker, a loser and a clown. He makes his daughter miserable through his misguided ability to show her love. Yet, through it all, Banks makes you understand and feel empathy for Whitehouse.
Most frightening, is that in Banks' writing(Continental Drift, The Sweet Hereafter) the alienation and loneliness he describes is frequently part of all of our lives. He is perhaps our best writer for our times.
Was this review helpful to you?
By Angela
You're not going to like any of the men in Affliction, but you will care about them nonetheless. This is an excellent book that's not afraid to show real relationships and embarass its protagonist in the process. It is an easy read because the points are not subtle--a legacy of violence is the theme and it is discussed on every page. You'll zip through this.
Was this review helpful to you?
Want to see more reviews on this item?

Look for similar items by category