Fra Keeler

Azareen Van der Vliet Oloomi. Dorothy, a publishing project (SPD, dist.), $16 trade paper (128p) ISBN 978-0-9844693-4-5
Van der Vliet Oloomi’s debut novel turns out to be a surrealist triumph despite a jerky entry into the narrator’s world. An unnamed man purchases a house with one thought in mind—to investigate the death of its former owner, Fra Keeler. Upon moving in, however, his investigation becomes hindered by his own tangled thoughts. A clearly unreliable narrator, the character nonetheless draws the reader deeper into his mental labyrinth, as snippets of a possible truth shine through as from a blinding streak of lightning on a dark night. Lurching toward an understanding of Fra Keeler’s death, the protagonist wrestles with issues of sanity, madness, life, death, and happiness. This short but substantial novel both celebrates the process of thinking and offers cautions about the perils of our inner monologues. A rare gem of a book that begs to be read again. Agent: Kate Johnson, Georges Borchardt, Inc. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 08/27/2012
Release date: 10/01/2012
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