A mature and masterful work of contemporary fiction from a great American writer. Suspended in a strangely modern-day version of limbo, a young man must create a life for himself in the wake of incarceration. Known only as the Kid, and on probation after doing time for a liaison with an underage girl, he is shackled to a GPS monitoring device and ...
A mature and masterful work of contemporary fiction from a great American writer. Suspended in a strangely modern-day version of limbo, a young man must create a life for himself in the wake of incarceration. Known only as the Kid, and on probation after doing time for a liaison with an underage girl, he is shackled to a GPS monitoring device and forbidden to live within 2,500 feet of anywhere children might gather. With nowhere else to go, the Kid takes up residence in a makeshift encampment with other convicted sex offenders. Barely beyond childhood himself, the Kid is in many ways an innocent, trapped by impulses and foolish choices. Enter the Professor, a man who has built his own life on secrets and lies. A university sociologist of enormous size and intellect, he finds in the Kid the perfect subject for his research on homelessness and reoffending sex offenders. The two men forge a tentative partnership. But when the Professor's past resurfaces and threatens to destroy his carefully constructed world, the balance in the two men's relationship shifts. Suddenly, the Kid must reconsider everything he has come to believe, and choose what course of action to take when faced with a new kind of moral decision.
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Publishers Weekly, 2011-07-11 For his latest novel, the acclaimed author of Cloudsplitter and The Sweet Hereafter again takes inspiration from a sanctuary of sorts. "The Kid," a young sex offender, lives with other registered offenders (including a disgraced state senator) in a makeshift camp beneath a Florida causeway based on a real colony that was shut down in 2010. After a police raid, the Kid meets "the Professor," a pompous, rotund man claiming to be researching homelessness. He wants to study-and cure-the Kid in order to prove his theories about society. But just as the study commences, the Professor, claiming that his life is in danger because of past work as a government spy, turns the tables, paying the Kid to interview him instead. Bloated and remarkably repetitive, this is more a collection of ideas and emblems than a novel. Though the Kid remains mostly opaque, he's a sympathetic character, but the nature of his crime, once revealed, lets Banks off the hook and simplifies rather than complicates matters. Banks continually refers to the Professor's weight and mental superiority, the latter a contrivance allowing for long rhetorical passages into the nature of man, sexual obsession, pornography, truth, and commerce that come as no surprise. Most frustrating is Banks's almost pathological restating of his characters' traits and motives, resulting in a highly frustrating novel in desperate need of an editor. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
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