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Does Not Love (2014)

by James Tadd Adcox(Favorite Author)
4.44 of 5 Votes: 2
1940430232 (ISBN13: 9781940430232)
Curbside Splendor Publishing
review 1: Four years ago, when our mutual friend told me Tadd was working on an S & M detective novel (I was supposed to read and provide feedback on an earlier draft, but am lame and never got to it, which is another story entirely), I don't think I expected something that would operate on so many levels as this.... there is the domestic drama, and the Kafkaesque paranoia/horror, the absurdist humor... but what I think ties it all together is this deep pathos... I try to avoid the word "human" because it is such a limiting and loaded word, but in this case, I am unsure how else to describe what I mean. At its core, this struck me as a novel about the impact of depression on relationships. Yes, Viola's miscarriages are the catalyst, but to a certain extent they're a cipher, or a sta... morend-in for the void. This is a book that works its way into and through a great deal of terror and sadness, somewhere at the intersection of the existential and the social and the cultural and relational, but what makes it tick is, I feel, that it's deeply personal, i.e. it's, pardon the cliche, deeply and personally felt.
review 2: full disclosure: the author is my brother...so maybe I'm a bit biased, but I'd like to believe I can set that aside and be objective (which, okay, I totally can't- but luckily in this case it truly doesn't matter, because the book is genuinely amazing)The entire time I was reading it I kind of felt like I was being held under water. I felt claustrophobic. It was this slow churning misery that never really reached total misery, because you're almost too apathetic (but in an intense way) and settled and terrified to even acknowledge that misery.Beautiful. Haunting. So incredibly full in all of its emptiness that it leaves you with a gnawing feeling in the pit of your stomach.For the most part I think putting too much emphasis on an ending is a little silly when 'reviewing' a book, but I can't help but mention that the ending is really phenomenal here...it's the only ending that makes sense. Or, rather, I suppose others would have made perfect sense, but this is the only one I can think of that feels right...it feels quite real and natural.It was probably 5-6 years ago or so that I found myself driving around the West side of Indianapolis with my brother staring at old motels, hearing little snippets of his ideas for this book. Over the years I've thought about what it would turn in to and I would often ask if he was still working on it, because the concept was so intriguing that I found myself rooting for it and hoping that this wouldn't turn in to an abandoned idea or a finished piece that never sees the light of day. The concept and these characters never left my mind from the first time I heard about them, and it was well worth the wait to read the finished product! less
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All Splendor and Love. It changed my life.
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