Sunday, June 27, 2010

A Visitation of the Spirits by Randall Kenan

A Visitation of the Spirits by Randall Kenan

Two young men try to fit themselves in a rural old fashioned culture, that, among other things, despise homosexuality.

I loved the prose style, especially the vivid dialogue and description of country life and country duties. Two stories, two men – Horace Cross, 16, an academic star, and recognizing his unwanted gay urges, and his cousin Rev. James Greene, more sketchily drawn, and who acts as an intermediary between the older generation, suffering, rigid and superstitious, and the younger. I groaned a little when I realized Horace’s story was going to be that Horace, in the grip of some schizophrenic breakdown, wandering nude around their home town, and having hallucinations/flashbacks that explained his life and current dilemma. But you know what – it worked! The Rev Greene’s story gets hung up on multiple families with multiple siblings and I started not to figure out who was who. But he cares.

It’s very readable and I read this in one sitting. (Ok, I was on a plane, but I had other options). World creation – this is what has been done. I don’t know how much hope there is at the end.

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