Saturday, May 07, 2011

The Bastard Hand -- Heath Lowrance

The Bastard Hand is narrated by Charlie Wesley (Methodists take note), who may more may not be crazy. He's recently escaped from a mental hospital, and he talks to his dead brother a lot, so how much of his narrative are we supposed to trust? That's an important question, since some of the things that happen in the course of the novel that certainly appear real. Are we in the territory of magic realism, or are we simply listening to the lunatic ravings of a nonsensical mind? It's up to each reader to decide that, I suppose.

Charlie goes down South, the gothic South of crazed preachers, mysterious women, drug gangs, small-town secrets, sex, and such. Charlie falls in with the reverend Phineas Childe, who has some secret purpose in mind for the town of Cuba Landing. Charlie doesn't mind, not at first, anyway, and he goes along. For a while, anyway.

The book moves fast, and Charlie's voice carries it right along to the slam-bang ending. Check it out.

1 comment:

Mike Dennis said...

I'm reading it now. About halfway through and I see no reason to stop reading. It's a good story, well-written.