A Thousand Benjamins

Michael Kun, Author Atlantic Monthly Press $19.95 (338p) ISBN 978-0-87113-345-8
Rarely is a first novel as graceful, polished and mature as this debut by a 27-year-old attorney. A wistful tale about two sad and lonely people, it resonates with bittersweet insights. Benjamin Sacks, 40, is a salesman with a tragic past and a recent divorce. Kimberly Cassella is a green-eyed 23-year-old waitress with a secret: a disfiguring heart-surgery scar. Their romance, set in Kun's native Baltimore, forces Benjamin to confront himself and his feelings about the people in his life; by the end of the book we feel great affection for this fragile man who hides his own light under a bushel of woes. Kun's writing has a tone of quiet humor tinged with despair, evoking J. D. Salinger's stories about the Glass family. (There are in fact several Salinger references.) Although most explicitly dramatic moments are related as part of Benjamin's past, the story has a quiet power that belies the absence of a twisting plot or shocking event. This novel deserves serious attention as the herald of a truly interesting new voice. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1990
Release date: 01/01/1990
Genre: Fiction
Open Ebook - 978-1-59692-882-4
Paperback - 360 pages - 978-1-59692-103-0
Paperback - 360 pages - 978-1-84982-216-9
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