Wednesday, May 28, 2014

The Book of Why - Review

Review by K.T Sullivan

Harry, named in honor of Harry Houdini, is a self-help author. His speeches are in the book. Most focus on introspection and motivation. He is consumed by both. He’s grieving the loss of his wife. He believes he is full of faith and doubt. Her dog, Ralph, is his constant companion. He is better at offering advice and inspiring people from afar than relationships. He lives on Martha’s Vineyard in the winter. Very few people and rarely any visitors are around. A woman arrives at his door, bleeding and hurt from a car accident. With no way to get around, she stays with him. Eventually she becomes his partner and house sitter when he leaves to promote his books. There’s little romance, just two people in search of a companion.

This book is told in the first person and shifts through different times in Harry’s life. His parents, wife, writing, and speaking to audiences, Harry doesn’t stay still. There are a lot of quotes and speeches based on his books. They are the best parts of the book. These are my two favorite quotes. “Whatever you’re afraid of will find you.” “Do you believe the universe is friendly or unfriendly?” The answers to these thoughts should be used as a guide through life. Interesting and thought provoking book.

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About the Author:
Nicholas Montemarano’s latest novel, The Book of Why, is recently out in paperback from Little, Brown. It was also published in the UK, Russia, and Brazil. He is the author of a previous novel, A Fine Place (2002), and the short story collection If the Sky Falls (2005), a New York Times Book Review Editor’s Choice. His short stories have appeared in Esquire, Zoetrope: All-Story, Tin House, The Southern Review, AGNI, The Gettysburg Review, The Antioch ReviewDoubleTake, The Washington Post Magazine, and many other publications. His fiction has been reprinted in The Pushcart Prize and cited as distinguished stories of the year in The Best American Short Stories four times. He is the recipient of fellowships from The National Endowment for the Arts, the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, The MacDowell Colony, Yaddo, the Edward F. Albee Foundation, and the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference. Born in Brooklyn and raised in Queens, Montemarano now lives in Lancaster, PA, where he teaches at Franklin & Marshall College.

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