Theory of War

Joan Brady, Author Alfred A. Knopf $21 (257p) ISBN 978-0-679-41966-2
Mallory Carrick, the narrator of this provocative, ambitious novel by the author of The Imposter , is the granddaughter of a white slave. Jonathan Carrick was ``bound out'' to a farmer as a boy in 1865; though he ran away at age 16, his enslavement instilled a fury that, Mallory states, ``pollutes my life, even though the man was dead before I was born.'' Desperate to understand her fierce, emotionally crippled ancestor, she flies from her home in England to Washington state, where her great-uncle recounts the story of Jonathan's life: his horrific boyhood, his years as a railroad brakeman, his conflict as a fundamentalist minister who doubted the Word he preached, his war against the imperious son of his erstwhile owner. Confined to a wheelchair by a spinal tumor, Mallory seeks ``the truth'' about her grandfather but must rely on such fallible sources as her alcoholic great-uncle's failing memory and Jonathan's coded journals. Drawing on the actual experiences of her own grandfather, Brady brings a riveting tale shockingly to life with her flair for colorful characterization and vivid language. However, her tendency to indulge in philosophical musings overwhelms a story that would have been far more powerful and unsettling if it had been more simply told. BOMC alternate. ( Apr. )
Reviewed on: 03/01/1993
Release date: 03/01/1993
Genre: Fiction
Hardcover - 978-0-517-13053-7
Paperback - 272 pages - 978-0-449-90913-3
Open Ebook - 368 pages - 978-1-84983-953-2
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