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Ontology on the gone!

The Journal of the Lincoln Heights Literary Society
Miscellanea and Ephemeron

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08/26/2008 Archived Entry: "Novel review: Adam the King"

Adam the King
By Jeffrey Lewis
Published by Other Press
ISBN-10: 1590512847
ISBN-13: 9781590512845

Review by Lynn Loper

ĎAdam the Kingí starts simply, with a wedding. A wedding is simple, at least in concept: two people, witnesses, words about forever. But the witness is thinking about the brideís sister, killed in an accident years ago, and the groom was driving. And the brideís cancer. And when he comes back to visit, the beautiful house Adam had built his wife is gone, burnt down. Nothing is ever really simple.

The book is about what humans want. Adamís wife wants a lap pool near the house heís built in rural Maine, and Adam wants to build it for her. Where do they want it? How can they get it there? Will the local lady sell her land? Why not? What about the boyfriend? And the limousines, and the people at the General Store? What do they all want? Even the most trivial desires are rooted deep in our hearts, and make us what we are, and the people whose eyes you barely catch every day want things just as much as you do. Maybe more. Maybe theyíre willing to do a lot more to get them.

And maybe the people who seem blank and empty hold depths of strength you canít imagine.

Itís an absorbing book, a swiftly-moving story that takes you from person to person and scene to scene without you noticing the travel. Iím going to read more Jeffrey Lewis after reading this.

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