The Blue Hour

Richard Teleky. Exile (IPG, dist.), $19.95 trade paper (184p) ISBN 978-1-55096-666-4
Although this timely novel by Teleky (Winter in Hollywood) is set in small-town Ohio, it also takes place in the broader context of the rift that runs through, and threatens, the fabric of American life. The narrator, a 60-something archivist, recounts the dissolution of his friendship with Nick and Hedy Anton, antique dealers and Tea Party enthusiasts. Despite changing political opinions and values, the three have managed to stay friends for decades. But when Nick and Hedy’s grown son, Guy, dies suddenly in what appears to be an accident, the friendship begins to fray. The narrator uncovers truths about Guy that run counter to the Antons’ cherished illusions about their son, deepening lines of division and alienation. A clutch of contemporary themes and topics defines this tangled yarn, which Teleky handles dexterously, gently pulling at threads—war memorabilia and its connections to conspiracy theories, an older gay man trying to save his heterosexual marriage, a fiery feminist in a destructive relationship—without ever undoing the knot at the core. This serves the novel well, as it allows readers to consider the here and now without trying to imagine what ought to be—either with the lives of the characters or the life of the nation. It’s a clever and topical tale for the times. (May)
Reviewed on: 07/31/2017
Release date: 05/01/2017
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