Hamilton Stark is a New Hampshire pipe fitter and the sole inhabitant of the house from which he evicted his own mother. He is the villain of five marriages and the father of a daughter so obsessed that she has been writing a book about him for years. Hamilton Stark is a boor, a misanthrope, a handsome man: funny, passionately honest, and a good dancer. The narrator, a mid...more
ebook, 320 pages
Published November 22nd 2011 by Harper Perennial
(first published 1978)
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Usually I really like formal innovation, in particular in prose since it is so unusual in that genre. So I admired this book, but I didn't actually like it at all. And it's not because the main character(s) are so unappealing; I don't think that's a particularly useful reason for liking or disliking a book. I guess I disliked the book because the tone never varied, even when the form did. And I have to wonder: is that maybe not a strength, that in the face of formal innovation a consistent tone...more
This rather experimental novel explores the life of local New Hampshire manly-man Hamilton Stark. No one seems to like him except the narrator, who obviously likes him way too much. Begs the question: if someone is a total jerk does that mean they have found a unique and worthwhile philosophy for living, or are they just a jerk?
Russell Banks is a member of the International Parliament of Writers and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters. His work has been translated into twenty languages and has received numerous international prizes and awards. He has written fiction, and more recently, non-fiction, with Dreaming up America. His main works include the novels Continental Drift, Rule of the Bone, Cloudsplit...moreMore about Russell Banks...