After burning through Mystery Girl in a few days, I was inspired to read David Gordon’s debut novel, The Serialist, from 2010. I’m pleased to report it has all the depth of his more recent book. It’s also a gripping read which held me captivated. The book won a boatload of prizes, all which were deserved. And it takes place in the author’s native New York Metro.
Like Mystery Girl, The Serialist is narrated by a divorced Jewish American writer who hasn’t achieved the fame he’s desired. But in this case, the writer, who is named Harry Bloch, has been slugging in the salt mines of anonymously written adult novels, vampire romance and urban action heroes. He’s used his mother’s name and picture for the vampire novels. But his life changes when he gets a letter from an inmate at a prison. It turns out one of his biggest fans is a convicted serial killer, sitting on death row. And he’s willing to have a book written on his life story.
Once again, this is an excellent novel. I’m astounded it was the first one published by Gordon. It’s not as stunning as Mystery Girl, but still worth your time. It kept me up late reading, which is always a plus.
Here’s a sample of the book’s insight:
“Why do we read? In the beginning, as children, why do we love the books we love? For most, I think, it’s travel, a flight into adventure, into a dream that feels like our own. But for a few it is also escape, flight from boredom, unhappiness, loneliness, from where or who we can no longer bear to be. When I read, the words on the page replace the voice in my head and I cease, for a little while, to be me, or at least to be so painfully aware of being me. These are the real readers, the maniacs, the ones who dose themselves with fiction the way junkies get high, the way lovers adore the beloved: beyond reason.”
Do check this one out. Mr. Gordon is off to a great career.
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