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Tom BissellThe reportorial relentlessness of Vann's imagination often makes his fiction seem less written than chiseled. One cannot say that Vann does not do humor well because—here, at least—he does not do humor at all. What he does do well is despair and desperation. In spite (or maybe because) of this, he leads the reader to vital places. A small, lovely book has been written out of his large and evident pain. "A father, after all," Vann writes, "is a lot for a thing to be." A son is also a lot for a thing to be; so is an artist. With Legend of a Suicide, David Vann proves himself a fine example of both.
—The New York Times