Of course I should have done this the other way around, devouring the literary wonder of Russell Banks before embarking on the sam ...more
In the background, too, lies poverty. Banks avoids the temptation to lay it ...more
The story Affliction is told by the younger brother of the protagonist, Wade Whitehouse. It is not complic ...more
Small town New Hampshire police officer and local well digger Wade Whitehouse is having a crummy week. A crummy week following a crummy life. Overall a powerful novel, with some great characters, dialogue and absolutely fine writing.
Then why did it take me three weeks to finish this novel?
Told through the point of view of Wade's youngest brother Rolfe, who has pieced the events together in so horribly an obsessive manner that he can imagine what Wade was eating, t ...more
The trouble starts when Russell Banks tries to make larger points about the hopeless working class and the injustices of the American system. He tends to force symbolic meanings into the story based on the abuse the main character suffers. The problem is, not all working class kids are victims of abuse. And not all victims of abuse are doomed to w ...more
I enjoyed Banks' writing and the details we get into this freezing, working class town that tends to break people down emotiona ...more
"Sometimes you just forget who you are," Wade Whitehouse says. "Especially when you're sick of who you are." Wade — victim of an abusive father, divorced twice (same woman), beholden to a town selectman who pulls the strings in both his jobs (cop, well drille ...more
This book, however, is different in the way it goes deep into Wade, the main character. Although the landscape is rough and bleak, the way Russell Banks explores Wade's psyche is anything but virile. "Affliction" is a sensitive and uncompromising character study; I can see why Paul Schrader, the man who wrote "Taxi Driver", adapted this book into a movie.
The atmosphere is pessimistic. ...more
I don't know if I can do Banks' novel any justice with a review. Just a few hours after finishing it, I'm still awe-struck and a little numb. All evening, I've felt myself digesting it. Felt it seeping from my brain into my blood. 'Affliction' is the kind of novel I would love to write. So, much of my adoration comes from a craft standpoint. I've read a few reviews complaining about Banks' style and I will say that it's challenging, but really only at the beginning. When I took Jonis Agee ...more
Aside from the story, Wade is a remarkably doomed character. There is no way for him to escape his "fate". Is it his childhood? His obvious mental illness? All that we ...more
I can relate and sympathize with Wade Whitehouse, with his problem with anger, depression and alcohol issues, and how Wade can spiral out of control.
One could think of Wade as a 'monster' and a bad person, but I don't see him as this at all. I see Wade as a wonderful man, but who has suffered a great amount and given a raw deal in life.
Wade, just like all of us, needs someo ...more
Well, yes. Amazing story of middle-aged white anger and abuse among the swamp Yankees. Extraordinary example of the unreliable narrator, as good as Nabokov. (Let's not forget that Lolita also took place in the Granite State.)
Also an amazing employment of ...more
What I will say i ...more
The story is at times a simple mystery, wor ...more
Didn't really love the ending, but I'm a scrooge about endings--I love so few.
When I give this book 4 stars, it is not because I "liked" it. It is because it is intense, thought-provoking, well-written close-to-the-bone story of a man caught in a suicidal spiral.
I read a very morose Irish mystery before starting this, and had to put it down for a week while I read something more "up.'
Narrated by his younger brother, who lives a suburban life outside Boston, we are introduced to Wade Whitehouse, a well-digger and the single police officer in tiny upstate New Hampshire town...more
Ainda assim, os fatos ...more
The characters in this book are brilliantly realized shades of grey. No one is quite innocent, but no one ...more
The story is framed as a crime drama narrated by th ...more
Banks uses this character-driven novel as a device to discuss themes such as the predictable and unambitious lives of people in small-town America, domestic violence, and far-reaching ramifications of a dysfunctional family on the lives of children even long after they have ...more