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.
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. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
Divorced, inept, confused and stubborn Wade Whitehouse, harrowed by snow and bone-freezing cold for the several days of the novel's duration, is afflicted with a nostalgic, romantic streak. Wade's dream of marrying Margie, a goodhearted waitress, and making a home for his angry daughter Jill, slowly erodes. PW called this a "masterful novel."
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
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.Published 21 months ago by toulu
One of the finest novels in the last 25 years. The most convincing and natural dialogue I have ever read. Read morePublished on May 6 2002 by Nifflefoot
dude, this book was rad. it was so funny when the little girl cries because her dad of her dad beat her dad. Read morePublished on April 24 2002 by "rp7mf"
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... Read morePublished on Dec 25 2001
Russell Bank's books are always good. This one is top notch: more Post Modern alienation at its best.Published on Nov. 25 2001 by Eleni Otto
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... Read morePublished on Nov. 17 2001 by RL
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... Read morePublished on Sept. 11 2001 by Angela
dude, this boook is cool. i liked it from the start. it was cool how the dad of the little girl's dad is crazy but he is cool. it is awesome stuff when he beats his son. Read morePublished on May 6 2001 by "rp7mf"