You may never look quite the same way at that punctilious little man down the street after reading this chilling first novel from Kinder, author of two well-received short story collections (A Near-Perfect Giftand Sweet Angel Band). Inspired by her own brush with a serial killer-back in the late '80s her neighbor Robert Weeks was sentenced to life in prison for two murders and suspected of more-Kinder deftly limns the deadly odyssey of Arthur Blume, a middle-aged creative writing professor who manages to be both the most ordinary and the most monstrous of creatures. The well-paced action cuts between Blume's Missouri present and horrific past in Georgia as the child of a psychotic teenage mother (which forms his view of treachery as the natural order and women as innately deceptive). Along the way, his slyly dropped clues-or are they red herrings?-add to the intrigue. Though one wishes that Kinder had gone lighter on some of the Southern-fried Freud, this artfully told tale of psychological suspense is as gripping as the spider webs Blume is so fond of studying. (Oct.)Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
An Absolute Gentlemanby R. M. Kinder
Meet Arthur Blume: charming guy, small-town college English professor, struggling writer, and occasional murderer. In this chilling debut novel, acclaimed
A gripping first novel, based on the author's real-life relationship with a convicted murderer, that delves with subtlety and nuance rather than violence and sensationalism into the mind of a serial killer.
Meet Arthur Blume: charming guy, small-town college English professor, struggling writer, and occasional murderer. In this chilling debut novel, acclaimed author R.M. Kinder draws on her firsthand experience of dating a convicted murderer to brilliantly channel the voice of a polite, even sympathetic man who just happens to be a serial killer.
An Absolute Gentleman opens in a prison cell, where Arthur Blume is hard at work writing an account of his life-one stained in places with abuse and cruelty, but also characterized by everyday banality. Only as the plot unravels do the chinks in Arthur's armor of normality begin to surface, and the monster beneath the pleasant fa‡ade appears as Arthur closes in on his next victim.
In this absorbing study of a serial killer, told in the first person, Kinder offers a rather sympathetic view of a man who outwardly possesses the characteristics of a highly functional citizen. In fact, it's difficult not to like Arthur Blume: He's even-tempered, bright, and a well-respected teacher of creative writing. In fact, for a novel featuring a murderer, very little violence takes place. Instead, Kinder relates the latest chapter in Arthur's peripatetic life, which has him searching for elusive tenure and hoping to rekindle the creative magic he exhibited in his only novel, published 20 years ago. Besides his being remarkably laid-back, Arthur's dominant character trait is his insistence that everyone be treated fairly. This philosophy, and Arthur's reluctance to offer the smallest bit of information about himself, both frustrates and fascinates his new lover, Grace, a fellow professor who ultimately learns more than she wants to know. Kinder based much of this first novel on her experiences with a real-life serial killer named Robert Weeks, and her handling of her fictional character shows a sophisticated understanding of a madman's thought processes. For most general fiction collections.
- Counterpoint Press
- Publication date:
- Product dimensions:
- 5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.90(d)
- Age Range:
- 14 - 18 Years
Meet the Author
Rose Marie Kinder, who writes under the pen name R.M. Kinder, won the 2005 University of Michigan prize for A Near-Perfect Gift, a collection of short stories. Another collection, Sweet Angel Band, was awarded the Willa Cather Award in 1991. R.M. Kinder's prose has also appeared in Other Voices, Short Story, and the New York Times. The author holds an M.F.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Arizona. She currently resides in Warrensburg, Missouri.
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This book is thrilling and exciting beyond belief. I am absolutly in kove with the way the book was written as well as the story its self. Wonderful read!
Author Kinder takes the reader inside the mind of a well-mannered, shy gentleman teacher, who just happens to be a serial murderer. It's like reading a high-brow version of 'Dexter' without the gore but with the psychological background of the killer intact.
Arthur Blume, published author, teaches creative writing in Mason, Missouri. He¿s been convicted of murdering one of his students. The public has painted him and his mother monsters. In his memoir, he intends to rectify this misconception. Arthur narrates his life, not in sequential order, but by alternating between his Missouri present and his Georgian past. As I read about his life, I found myself forgetting this was a work of fiction. It felt so unbelievably real. R. M. Kinder, a masterful story weaver, gives readers penetrating insight into a serial killer¿s psyche. Throughout the book, I wondered if this is how neighbors and church members saw Dennis Rader, the BTK killer. From there, I wondered how well I know my own neighbors. ¿An Absolute Gentleman¿ by R. M. Kinder is first novel that is loosely based on the author¿s real-life relationship with a convicted murderer. As I read the last few paragraphs of the book, goose bumps formed on my arms. What a chilling ending! This book is without a doubt, one of the best thrillers I¿ve read this year. It¿s Oh-My-God good!