cover image Another Burning Kingdom

Another Burning Kingdom

Robert Vivian, Univ. of Nebraska, $13.95 trade paper (128p) ISBN 978-0-8032-1107-0

A pair of troubled brothers become engaged in a fateful showdown in an apocalyptic vision drawn from the Book of Revelations in Vivian's grim latest (after Lamb Bright Saviors). The novel shifts among the points of view of three characters: Jackson, a 45-year-old loner living in a house near where he and his brother grew up in western Nebraska, has grown disillusioned with America's materialistic path and is plotting a sinister act involving the state capitol building. His brother, Lem, a former pro baseball prospect, is driving hell-bent from his home in Glendale, Ariz., in the middle of the night, having become alarmed by a conversation with Jackson, who amply exhibited his violent streak two years earlier. Then there's Lissa, Lem's wife, long wary of Jackson's destructive influence on her husband: even though she has found happiness in an affair, Lissa is plagued by ominous thoughts about Jackson. It's a tense triptych, though one that's a bit too stripped-down, as there's little room for anything outside the characters' heads and shared histories. Still, Vivian finds impressive depth in a slim and spare endeavor. (Mar.)