by Norman Rush
Paperback, 256 pages
Michiku Kakutani of the New York Times refers to this book as a, "claustrophobic and totally annoying novel." If you were to read the summary of this novel about a group of college friends reuniting for the funeral of one of their own, you are likely to think of "The Big Chill." Let's just say, the movie is much better.
Ned and Nina are, for the most part, the main characters in this story. They have rushed to the Catskills upon the news of the tragic death of Ned's dear old friend, Douglas. The characters in this story are far from relatable and, if Rush was looking for black humor, he failed. This book simply is not funny. Their concerns and problems are those of people who don't have much to worry about in life. That said, Rush's writing style is strong, and the storyline (as absurd as it may be) did hold us through the end. If you are looking for a bit of the ridiculous, this just may be the book for you.