Thursday, March 29, 2012

Legend of a Suicide - David Vann

Rating: 4 stars

A series of semi-autobiographical short stories that surround a hauntingly dark and horrifyingly beautiful novella make up this exploration of David Vann's father's suicide via Roy Fenn and Roy's father, Jim. The short stories themselves were good - each a different story with the same cast of characters that seemed to be more autobiographical than fiction. However, it was the novella that really, truly knocked me off my feet.

In the author's notes at the end of the book, we find out that James Vann did actually invite David to live with him for a year on a remote Alaskan island. In real life, David - an eighth grader - turns his father down, with an already dreadful foreboding about what will happen. Two weeks later, James Vann kills himself during a phone call with David's stepmother. In the novella, David explores what may have come to pass had he agreed to his father's offer, with extremely grim results. It is, in short, a story of how suicide destroys more than just its immediate victim.

From the Blogcritics Books review:

"However, we cannot forget the truth that “Sukkwan Island” eviscerated, the truth that a suicide kills more than the person whose finger pulled the trigger."
Purchase Now from Amazon:  Legend of a Suicide

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