An immensely powerful story, The Night Inspector follows the extraordinary life of William Bartholomew, a maimed veteran of the Civil War, as he returns from the battlefields to New York City, bent on reversing his fortunes. It is there he meets Jessie, a Creole prostitute who engages him in a venture that has its origins in the complexities and despair of the conflict he has left behind. He also befriends a deputy inspector of customs named Herman Melville who, largely forgotten as a writer, is condemned to live in the wake of his vanished literary success and in the turmoil of his fractured family.
Delving into the depths of this country's heart and soul, Frederick Busch's stunning novel is a gripping portrait of a nation trying to heal from the ravages of war--and of one man's attempt to recapture a taste for life through the surging currents of his own emotions, ambitions, and shattered conscience.
Frederick Busch's most recent book, Girls, was a New York Times Notable book for 1997. His short story collection, The Children in the Woods, was a finalist for the 1995 PEN/Faulkner Award. He has received the PEN/Malamud Award for achievement in short fiction, the National Jewish Book Award, as well as an award for fiction from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He has held Woodrow Wilson, National Endowment for the Arts, James Merrill, and Guggenheim fellowships and has been acting director of the Writers' Workshop at the University of Iowa. The Edgar Fairchild Professor of Literature at Colgate University, he teaches creative writing and fiction and also directs the Living Writers program.
Night Inspector 4 out of 5based on
More than 1 year ago
As a librarian, I try to read a wide variety of books. I took The Night Inspector home because of its reveiws and the authors many literary nominations. Although I found the first 100 pages or so to be tedious to get through, it was well worth the effort. His characters were so well developed and unusual. I found myself drawn into the masked man's world, until the surprising end which unmasked him to be a man like many other men. The plot and setting were also extremely well developed. A throughly interesting and educational read, recommended for anyone who has an interest in history, the military, or just good literature. I will be sure to read Busch's Girls next.
More than 1 year ago
I found this book to have great insight into the human condition.
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