Friday, November 12, 2010

David Gates

Why did it take me so long to discover this writer? I read newspapers and magazines (but not Newsweek) and book reviews and yet it was only recently that I've ever seen his name mentioned (and now I can't even recall where that was). After reading his first novel, Jernigan, I knew that I would have to read everything he's written (another novel, Preston Falls, and a short story collection, The Wonders of the Invisible World). I recommend reading them in that order because there are little inside jokes that travel from one book to the next. Jernigan has been described as having the voice of a grown-up Holden Caulfield but that's just lazy writing. Peter Jernigan is much funnier than Salinger's character. So pick up Jernigan and give this criminally-neglected writer a shot. I think you'll be happy you did. I haven't had this much fun discovering a writer since I found Charles Portis.

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