Daniel Fights a Hurricane

Shane Jones. Penguin, $14 trade paper (224p) ISBN 978-0-14-312119-0
Jones’s powerful second novel (after Light Boxes) tells the story of a mentally disturbed man and the ex-wife who struggles to help him. Daniel Suppleton, a laborer working on an oil pipeline, suffers from a profound lifelong fear of hurricanes, as well as episodes wherein he interacts with imaginary friends in a fantasy world. Mostly, Daniel has kept his eccentricities in check, but as the pipeline approaches the ocean, Daniel loses his job and becomes convinced that a hurricane will rear up and “throw their silly pipeline... into the sky.” After failing to assuage his anxiety by having his ex-wife, Karen, pose as a therapist, Daniel sets off into the woods to find peace. The second half of the novel details Karen’s search for Daniel, alternating with dispatches from Daniel’s tragic descent into madness. The fantasy portions will likely entice many readers, but it is Karen’s heartrending chronicles of losing Daniel to mental illness that give the novel its emotional heft. Admirers of Italo Calvino and Richard Brautigan will appreciate Jones’s sensibility, but an unsatisfyingly surreal conclusion keeps the work from achieving its full potential. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 05/21/2012
Release date: 07/31/2012
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Open Ebook - 224 pages - 978-1-101-58740-9
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