Thursday, 17 October 2013

Guterson, David "Ed King"

Guterson, David "Ed King" - 2011

Certainly not my favourite book by David Guterson but what a story! You only notice to the very end that you know it already and I am not going to reveal here what I mean but if you read any other description, even some of the book jackets, you probably will. I was glad I didn't before I read this and my copy didn't spoil anything for me, either.

This is the story of Ed King as well as his parents and foster parents, a child born out of wedlock at a time where this was definitely not possible to raise a child alone without the support of anybody. So, he ends up with foster parents who couldn't have loved him any more. They give him all the opportunities they can, both financially as well as in any other way. A dream life. Or is it?

There is always something unsettling in Ed's life, some shadow that follows him around, some foreboding that he might not end up where everyone sees him. In the meantime, there are a lot of sub-plots and twists that make reading this novel all the more pleasurable. It's a classic story with a modern setting.

Anyway, cleverly written, I do like David Guterson's style. As I said above, not my favourite (that would definitely be "East of the Mountains") but I am a huge fan of his writing and will carry on more of his novels.

One last remark: David Guterson received the "Literary Review's bad sex in fiction award" for this book and he totally deserved it. That still does not make the whole book bad, though.

From the back cover: "In 1962, when Walter Cousins sleeps with his British au pair, Diane Burroughs, he can have no sense of the magnitude of his error: this brief affair sets in motion a tragedy of epic proportions, upending Sophocles's immortal tale of fate, free will, and forbidden desire. At the centre is Ed King, an infant given up for adoption who becomes one of the world's most powerful men. But beneath the gripping story of Ed's seemingly inexorable rise to fame and fortune is a dark and unsettling destiny, one that approaches with ever-increasing suspense as the novel reaches its shattering conclusion."

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