Snotchocheez's Reviews > Affliction

Affliction by Russell Banks
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Aug 27, 10

Read from August 24 to 27, 2010

As I sit here typing this, I recalled why I chose to re-read this book: It's 96 degrees today with 95% humidity and wanted something cool to think about...and this filled the bill...albeit in a depressing manner. "Affliction" is chilly all right...and not just the setting (the New Hampshire Mountains in the wintertime)...it's somber, totally depressing stuff...and yet...not so over the top that you can't get chills down the spine wondering what nadirs of depravity the protagonist (a small town cop and well-driller) will sink to. Mr. Banks seems to have cornered the "familial abuse fiction" market ("The Sweet Hereafter" also immediately comes to mind) but he does it so well and so thoughtfully that he doesn't bludgeon the reader over the head with the abusive relationships (well, on second thought, maybe he does, but he tempers it with well-thought-out musings on whence the abuse occurs).
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