I was hooked by the "dread" Joe described in the first line. When I realized that he was a college student who had procrastinated in beginning an assignment, Eskens character development skills and choice of Joe as first person narrator were hints that this first novel would be good.
Joe Talbert waited so long to begin his assignment that options for finding a subject were limited. He has to interview a stranger who led an interesting life and write a short biography of that stranger for his English class.
(Note: I want to give him a little forgiveness for his procrastination because he is a very responsible brother to Jeremy whose special needs require Joe to intervene when his mother's alcoholism threatens Jeremy's safety.)
Carl Iverson becomes Joe's subject. Carl is in a nursing home. He has been paroled there after 50 years in prison for the murder of a 14-year-old girl. And, he is dying. He led an interesting life. The biography that Joe writes is not short.
I could not stop listening. It is a wonderful first novel. I hope to read more stories from this new author..
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