Anthony is a British journalist whose American wife, Lucy, has died suddenly. Haunted by her death, he becomes obsessed with her past and the years he missed before he met her. To find out more, he travels to a remote part of the Nevada desert to meet Lucy's first husband. Their encounter is the beginning of a journey that takes him across the world, to the edge of madness, and into the corners of the human heart. In this a drawn-out journey of bereavement, he discovers he is never far from the woman he still loves. If you enjoyed Thanksgiving you may also like Dirty Tricks, also by Michael Dibdin.
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Thanksgiving is a small book with grand ambitions. Michael Dibdin, the author of the Aurelio Zen mysteries (which feature a strong sense of place and an eponymous, freewheeling, and urbanely skeptical Roman police inspector), has created a wisp of longing, a morsel of obsession, a covert glance at the past's capacity to haunt the present and the future.
After his wife, Lucy, dies in a plane crash, something compels Anthony to visit Lucy's ex-husband, Darryl Bob, who lives in the middle of a Nevada desert in a trailer filled with audio and video evidence of Lucy's tantalizing and occasionally adulterous sexuality. What prompts the visit? Grief? Anger? A desire to reconnect with the past? We don't know, exactly, and neither does Anthony--nor is he sure why he brought a gun with him. But contrary to all rules of Chekhovian drama, he leaves, shaken and scarred after a particularly disturbing stroll down memory lane, without using the revolver.
Shortly after Anthony leaves the trailer, Darryl Bob is found dead, and the police hone in on Anthony as their prime suspect. But this novel is not a mystery, not a police procedural, not a thriller. Dibdin pays scant attention to the plot twist he's created (which works itself out in a distracted sort of manner, receding politely into the background), preferring to concentrate instead on Anthony's struggle to come to terms with Lucy's death and with the idea that in death, even her life is receding from his grasp.
The initial encounter between Anthony and Darryl Bob is probably the novel's strongest moment. The two men circle one another warily, feinting with acerbic humor, like lions around a carcass (the metaphor has eerily literal overtones). Darryl Bob's open acknowledgement of their bizarre, post-mortem competition doesn't lessen its impact; the men are struggling to lay claim to a dead woman, seeking to reclaim the past and possess Lucy by appropriating her life and (re)inscribing themselves within and over it.
Thanksgiving is the kind of book that lends itself to refined and scholarly discussion (shall we untangle the threads of patriarchal narrative, looking for the palimpsest of a woman's voice?), but that isn't in the end very satisfying to read. The book may wish to be as challenging and austere as an '82 Château Petrus, but in (or under) the glass, it reveals itself as a thin, relatively unimpressive vin ordinaire. --Kelly FlynnFrom the Inside Flap:
Thanksgiving is a moving portrait of the profound effects of love when all that seems to remain is loss and grief. Unhinged by his wife's unexpected death, Anthony, a middle-aged Seattle journalist, becomes obsessed with her past. He drives through the Nevada desert to locate her ex-husband looking for some unnamable solace. But, what awaits him is a bizarre and violent encounter with the past that entangles Anthony with his half-estranged stepchildren, the police, and his own disquieted mind and that only makes Lucy's ghostly presence seem all the more real. The crisp dialogue, shadowy atmosphere, and sharp pacing of a master crime writer work to great effect in this arresting story that toys with the precipice of insanity and the extremes of passion and loss. This is a splendid shadow play on the enduring human mystery of love.
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Buchbeschreibung Faber & Faber, 03.09.2001., 2001. Buchzustand: Sehr gut. Auflage: New Ed. 192 Seiten kleine Lagerspuren am Buch, Inhalt einwandfrei und ungelesen 403636 Sprache: Englisch Gewicht in Gramm: 240 17,2 x 11,0 x 1,4 cm, Taschenbuch. Artikel-Nr. 170700