The Brunist Day of Wrath

Robert Coover, Author
Robert Coover. Dzanc (Consortium, dist.), $29.95 trade paper (1,024p) ISBN 978-1-938604-38-6
Reviewed on: 03/17/2014
Release date: 04/01/2014
Ebook - 1100 pages - 978-1-4976-0873-3
Ebook - 1236 pages - 978-1-941088-10-4
Open Ebook - 325 pages - 978-1-306-63313-0
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The writing itself is the main attraction of Coover's beastly new novel–vivid, specific, evocative, and fiercely intelligent. Coover can sweep the reader up in the vitality of his prose, plot notwithstanding. And there is plot, albeit a shaggy, tangled overabundance of it. The fervent religious cult called the Brunists returns to the rural coal town of West Condon, five years after a tragic exile and nearly half a century since Coover first wrote about them in his debut novel, The Origin of the Brunists (1966). Condemned cult member Abner Baxter returns to town with militant religious rigor, determined to weed out all but the true believers. Meanwhile West Condon's mayor and his cronies, a motorcycle gang, and an undercover reporter named Sally all spell trouble for the Followers. Abner is arguably the protagonist, but the story unfurls like a tapestry rather than a story with a conventional (or even unconventional) arc. Open the book anywhere and find another vivid portrait of a cultist or resident, woven into the subplot of a previously introduced character, inching forward. Questions of religion, faith, humanity and society are raised. Challenging and impressive, a virtuoso work, though not to all tastes. (Apr.)
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