Philip's Reviews > A Person of Interest: A Novel

A Person of Interest by Susan Choi
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Dec 04, 10

bookshelves: directed-reading
Read from December 03 to 04, 2010

A very interesting look into the psyche and life of a man suspected of involvement in Unabomber-like crimes. The protagonist, Lee, professor of mathematics at a "second-tier Midwestern university," is more or less reconciled to his mediocre existence when all Hell blows loose in the campus office next to his. The aftermath sets in motion a period of intense turmoil during which Lee digs deeply into his past as a young immigrant to America and his tentative friendships and first loves while in graduate school.

The theme of post-traumatic stress on an immigrant due to horrific experiences in the (Korean) War, though not as dominant here, was one of several points of contact with the themes of Chang-Rae Lee's The Surrendered while being a very different sort of book. This novel is structured something like a true-crime mystery, whole also delving deeply into questions of relationships among family, lovers, colleagues, neighbors, ultimately among us as members of a fearful and oftentimes suspicious society.
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