Friday, April 25, 2008

The Resurrectionist by Jack O'Connell

Lots of hype on this one and unquestionably a page-turner, but...

A pharmacist named Sweeney, shattered by an accident that has left his son, Danny, comatose, takes a new job at an esteemed but very strange clinic where the creepy Dr. Peck has successfully revived a small number of coma patients. Danny has been admitted and Dr. Peck believes that he is an excellent candidate for "resurrection." Prior to his accident, Danny was a fanatic for a comic book called
Limbo, the adventures of a troupe of circus freaks and their travails. The chapters alternate between the tale of the freaks, led by a chicken-boy (aptly named Chick) and what unfolds with Sweeney, Danny, Dr. Peck, Peck's daughter, and a whacked-out biker gang called The Abominations.

Confusing? Sure it is but that's not the problem. Between switching back and forth from one story to the other, so much shit happens, it's like O'Connell has tried to cram the book with every damn thing he can think of only to have me wondering, with about 80 pages left, "what the hell is going on and how's he going to pull it together?" Oddly, I figured it out as I was in the half-sleep before dozing off for the night (how appropriate) and he does pull it off, I suppose, but not without leaving the reader absolutely exhausted by his kitchen sink approach.

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