Jen's Reviews > Fieldwork

Fieldwork by Mischa Berlinski
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's review
Sep 03, 2007

really liked it
Recommended for: travelers, anthropologists
Read in April, 2007

I read this because Stephen King wrote a column about it in Entertainment Weekly (is was unusual for me to be reading that magazine, incidentally, but I'm a King fan). He said that the story was terrific, but the publisher seemed to want the book to fail with the lame title, cover and promotion. "So I'll do the job: go buy Fieldwork," King wrote. And like a lemming, I did.

It was a good recommendation, and I passed it on to a friend. An anthropologist in Thailand murders a missionary who found God while touring with the Grateful Dead. The narrator is a slacker, ex-pat journalist who gets obsessed with investigating the story, while dealing with his own life abroad with his girlfriend.

This is great story fodder, though at times Berlinsky (also the narrator's name, for some reason) gets so bogged down in the anthropological studies that I was yelling, "Get to the murder already!" Overall, though, it was a satisfying read.

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