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Reservation Road: Open Market Edition

John Burnham Schwartz

2,172 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0375707034 / ISBN 13: 9780375707032
Published by Vintage Books
Used Condition: VERY GOOD Soft cover
From OwlsBooks (Toledo, MD, U.S.A.)

AbeBooks Seller Since June 26, 2006

Quantity Available: 1

About this Item

Very Good copy, cover and pages show some wear from reading and storage. Binding may have light creases. Lots of life left in these pages. Bookseller Inventory # 2666332903

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Reservation Road: Open Market Edition

Publisher: Vintage Books

Binding: Paperback

Book Condition:VERY GOOD

About this title

Synopsis:

A cycle of violence and retribution is set in motion as two haunted men are engulfed by the emotions surrounding an unexpected and horrendous death.

Ethan, a respected professor at a small New England college, is wracked by an obsession for revenge that threatens to tear his family apart. Dwight, fleeing his crime yet hoping to get caught, wrestles with overwhelming guilt and his sense of obligation to his son. As these two men's lives unravel, Reservation Road moves to its startling conclusion.

Review:

"Explain this to me: One minute there is a boy, a life thrumming with possibilities, and the next there are marked cars and strangers in uniform and the fractured whirling lights. And that, suddenly, is all the world has to offer." This is the voice of Ethan Learner, a college professor who has just watched his 10-year-old son, Josh, die in a hit-and-run accident on a silent Connecticut road.

John Burnham Schwartz's Bicycle Days (1989) received favorable reviews but seemed very much an autobiographical first novel. His second fiction, Reservation Road, however, is a book that resists genres: a tragedy where all the characters are flawed and none are entirely guilty; a thriller where the killer, Dwight, wants to be caught but is too laden with self-loathing to turn himself in; and an experimental novel where the narrative jumps gracefully among three perspectives.

In the opening pages Schwartz establishes strong connections between fathers and sons. Moments before the accident Ethan watches his son standing precariously close to the curb; he sees possibilities in Josh, a shy boy whose musical gifts indicate a sensitivity that is no less present, though more mature, in his father. At the same time, Dwight and his son, Sam (also 10), are rushing home from an extra-innings Red Sox game where Dwight tries to rebuild the fragments of attachment left after a bitter divorce. Schwartz reveals depth in simple gestures--a hand, for example, placed in a hand, only to be self-consciously pulled away. Dwight drives on after hitting Josh, though he slows in a moment of hesitation in which Ethan hears him calling "Sam" or "Sham"--he's not sure which. Out of grief, and with only scattered clues, Ethan begins his quiet pursuit of the killer, a pursuit that fuels the novel to its poetic conclusion. In Reservation Road, John Burnham Schwartz has crafted a lasting work of literature, a page-turner that's also a rich character study. --Patrick O'Kelley

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