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The Resurrectionist – Review

Sweeney is a father looking for a miracle for his comatose son Danny. This leads him to depart his hometown hospital in Cleveland for a dark and fortress like Peck Clinic away from everything that he knows on promises of his son’s revival at the hands of the famous Dr. Peck. Once at the Peck Clinic, Sweeney falls into a dark and seedy world, forever wanting his son to wake, the guidance for all of his decisions in the book. In a clever twist, a possible cure for his son may be in Limbo, a comic book series that his son adored.
The book is set up to tell two stories; one of Sweeney and his quest to find a cure for his sleeping son, and the second tells the story of a group of circus freaks lead by their small and fearless leader, Chick the chicken boy covered entirely in feathers and Bruno the strongman. Although they begin as separate stories, they do eventually overlap and bleed into each other. Both story lines are dark and eerie and very much set up like a comic book, only without the illustrations. This was one of those weird books that I couldn’t put down when I was reading it, but once I did put it down I didn’t want to pick it back up again.

Sweeney’s character was frustrating, whiny and seemed like a pushover to me. All bark with no bite. Nadia’s character is perhaps the most powerful of the entire cast, although she doesn’t seem realistic. Then again, I don’t think she or anyone else is meant to be realistic or relatable except maybe Nora. The book brings a lot to the table for discussion about relationships between families, friends, strangers, the role of the patriarch and matriarch and how far they will go to protect their brood. Although questions about the comatose and what consciousness really means. This is a very heavy and dark book, perfect for a winter evening read.

The Resurrectionist
by Jack O’ Connell
Angonquin Books: 2009
318 pages
Source – Review copy


Find this book at your local library