The New York Times
The Resurrectionistby Jack O'Connell
The Resurrectionist is a wild ride into a territory where nothing is as it appears. Part classic noir thriller, part fabulist fable, it is the story of Sweeney and his comatose son, Danny. Hoping for a miracle, Sweeney has brought Danny to the fortresslike Peck Clinic, whose doctors claim to have "resurrected" patients who were similarly lost in the void. but/i>… See more details below
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The Resurrectionist is a wild ride into a territory where nothing is as it appears. Part classic noir thriller, part fabulist fable, it is the story of Sweeney and his comatose son, Danny. Hoping for a miracle, Sweeney has brought Danny to the fortresslike Peck Clinic, whose doctors claim to have "resurrected" patients who were similarly lost in the void. but the real cure for his son's condition may lie in Limbo, a comic book world beloved by Danny before he slipped into a coma.
O'Connell has crafted a spellbinding novel about stories and what they can do for and to those who create them and those who consume them. About the nature of consciousness and the power of the unknown. And, ultimately, about forgiveness and the depth of our need to extend it and receive it.
The New York Times
Holter Graham deftly brings to life the myriad characters that populate O'Connell's novel. Sweeney, a pharmacist, brings his comatose son, Danny, to the mysterious Peck Clinic in the hope that the doctors can restore his boy to consciousness. While trying to settle into his new surroundings, Sweeney encounters the peculiar staff of the hospital and a bizarre motorcycle gang who all have dark designs on his son. Though Graham sounds a bit young in his narration, his character voices are dead on, whether portraying the philosophical/psychotic head biker, a stoic strong man from a comic book series Danny loved, or the central, single-minded earnestness of Sweeney, each character is imbued with a richness of layers that is a tribute to O'Connell's writing and Graham's performance. Simultaneous release with the Algonquin hardcover (Reviews, Feb. 4). (Apr.)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Noir mixed with elements of dark fantasy may seem like an odd combination, but novelist O'Connell (Word Made Flesh; The Skin Palace) pulls it off in a strange and extremely original work. Sweeney has brought his comatose son, Danny, to the renowned Peck Clinic for treatment. But he soon discovers that despite its stellar reputation, the clinic and the surrounding town aren't what they appear to be. Soon Sweeney is not only involved with clinic staff but also a group of bikers who believe they have the answers Sweeney needs. The fantasy element enters in the form of Limbo, Danny's favorite comic, chapters of which are interspersed with happenings at the clinic. Although difficult to explain succinctly, the tale of Limboand Danny's own story are related. In the end, this unusual novel may disappoint fans of straightforward mystery, but those open to something different should be pleasantly surprised. Recommended for adventurous fiction collections.
"A wild, surreal and thought-provoking ride." San Francisco Chronicle
“Reed's performance is effortless . . .”
“'Graham’s measured reading steers a course through nagging crossroads of perception, allowing layers of reality and fantasy to wash over us in a very effective, if nonlinear, listening experience.”
- Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill
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Meet the Author
JACK O'CONNELL is the author of several acclaimed novels. O'Connell has been described as a cyberpunk Dashiell Hammett. His dark, noir-ish crime stories are dragging the crime genre into new realms. He lives in Wooster, Massachusetts, with his wife and two children.
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Superb book by a wonder author. A tour de force.
I won't attempt to recap the synopsis of The Resurrectionist, because that would be too time consuming. I will say that the story starts out very strong and very interesting. Two stories run in tandem that seem to be unrelated, but little hints of one story begin to show up in the others (i.e. place's names etc.). Unfortunately, this book really never delivers the big "punch". Sweeney is consistently a disappointing character and never really seems to evolve. The story with the Freaks is actually a little prosaic and boring. My biggest gripe is the ending. I won't spoil anything, but I feel like it was a big letdown and seemed to suddenly take the novel in a totally different direction, but not in a good way.