Affliction by Russell Banks

Banks is asking, and trying to answer, the question: How did unafraid and loving boys turn  “so quickly into the embittered brutes they had become?” It is set in small-town NH during deer-hunting season  and gave me an understanding of a old-style masculine  sub-culture I don’t often see in literature. The characters are believable and Banks manages to arouse sympathy in the reader for even the most damaged and damaging, as they struggle to overcome their impulses.

Note: If you are also an Anita Brooker fan, this book provides a wonderful contrast with a world and a psychology diametrically different from hers.

Reviewed by Sara V.

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