Monday, March 20, 2017

what's going on here?

Ill Will by Dan Chaon
Rating: 2 stars (out of 5)
Genre: fiction
Review: Are we supposed to pity Dustin Tillman, because of what he went through as a child, hate him for what he did in response, or respect him for being able to put his life together afterward?  I don't know.

Dustin not only can't be relied upon to tell the truth, he doesn't even know what the truth is.  He is described by other characters as spacey, delusional, suggestible, and gullible.  So fine, I promise not to take anything he says at face-value.  This is not difficult because, among other things, he's unable to finish most thoughts, either in conversation or in his internal monologue.  Which makes it hard to take him seriously as the clinical psychologist with a successful practice he's supposed to be.  In the end, this was the most challenging part of the book for me.

So are we supposed to believe what he finally lets on that he really remembers about the night his parents, aunt, and uncle died?  Or perhaps the real question is, do we really care about what happened by that point?

FTC Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher in exchange for this review.

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