Archive for the ‘Dan Chaon’ Category

YouRemindMeOfMeOn the back jacket of You remind me of me, an author describes the book as “….one of the strangest, most beautiful, most compelling books I’ve read in a long time.” I’d have to agree with Elizabeth McCracken. It is most certainly strange or bizarre, beautiful yet unnerving and quite compelling.

Chaon, author of the National Book Award finalist Among the Missing, takes four apparently disparate stories and unites them in a bizarre, sad tale of dysfunctional human nature.

I’ll describe the characters and leave the interweaving of their stories to Chaon. Jonah is six in 1977 when he comes home to his grandfather’s Little Bow, South Dakota house after school and is mauled by their doberman, Elizabeth.

In the same year, in St. Bonaventure, Nebraska 10 year old Troy Timmens, is watching his cousin Bruce and his wife Michelle get high while also babysitting their toddler Ray.

In 1966, Nora, a pregnant fifteen year old is contemplating her life while in the Mrs. Glass Home for unwed pregnant teens.

Finally, in 1997 St. Bonaventure, a six year old child disappears from his grandmother’s backyard during the instant when she wasn’t watching him.

Chaon weaves these unique, disturbing stories into a complete tapestry full of dysfunctionality, missteps and misdeeds. Sad characters and lives abound in You remind me of me. But these characters are real, not far fetched visions of people readers can’t comprehend. Chaon’s prose has a cadence and the pictures of locales and actions are vivid; the small towns, the desolation, the loneliness.

You remind me of me is like no story you’ve ever read before. Be prepared for a bizarre, uncomfortable but compelling read.

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