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We Disappear (P.S.)

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We Disappear (P.S.) Cover

ISBN13: 9780061468971
ISBN10: 0061468975
Condition: Student Owned
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Synopses & Reviews

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Publisher Comments:

The body of a teenage boy is discovered in a Kansas field. The murder haunts Donna — a recent widow battling cancer — calling forth troubling details from long-suppressed memories of her past. Hoping to discover more about "disappeared" people, she turns to her son, Scott, who is fighting demons of his own. Addicted to methamphetamines and sleeping pills, Scott is barely holding on — though the chance to help his mother in her strange and desperate search holds out a slim promise of some small salvation.

But what he finds is a boy named Otis handcuffed in a secret basement room, and the questions that arise seem too disturbing even to contemplate. With his mother's health rapidly deteriorating, he must surrender to his own obsession, and unravel Otis's unsettling connections to other missing teens...and, ultimately, to Scott himself.

Review:

"Strange and luminous, this fascinating psychological thriller from Heim (In Awe) tackles questions of identity, illness and trauma. Scott, a writer and drug addict, travels back to Kansas from New York City at the request of his ill mother, Donna, who's become obsessed with missing children. Scott soon finds out that Donna believes she was kidnapped in her youth by an elderly couple who eventually returned her unharmed. This experience has led her to an odd alliance with a boy who leaves candy on Donna's front porch. When Donna becomes too ill to continue research for a supposed book on disappeared children, Scott, with help from a friend of Donna's, goes on the road for answers. Taut and beautifully clear, the writing at times recalls that of Paul Auster, but the plot ends in a place less interesting than where it began. The reader may feel that revealing the mundane truth behind Donna's childhood experiences betrays the essential mystery of all the lost boys and girls described in the novel." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

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About the Author

The author of two novels and a volume of poetry, Scott Heim has written for numerous publications, including The Advocate, Village Voice, and Nerve.com. He lives in Boston.

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

Grady Harp, May 25, 2010 (view all comments by Grady Harp)
Modus Exodus

It is rewarding to find book titles that can be taken on so many levels. Such is the case for Scot Heim's fine novel WE DISAPPEAR. Yes, the running story is the following of mother and son on the trail of missing children (and that story is sufficient reason to become engrossed in this compelling novel). But the characters Heim creates are all 'disappearing' - from the descending vitality of Donna the mother whose battle with lymphoma is a losing one and she is disappearing into death, to the mind state of her son Scott whose life centers on smoking and snorting crystal meth and balancing his slow disappearance from reality with heavy doses of Ambein sleeping pills, to the all but disappeared presence of Alice (Scott's sister who can no longer cope with Scott's drugs or her mother's prolonged futile chemotherapy, to the disappearances of Donna's friend Dolores into the bourbon glass, to the disappearance of Gavin - the drug source for the addicted Scott. Sounds too far fetched to be true? No, not in the skilled hands of Heim who knows well how to build characters so that we visualize them with ease and thus take note of their varying forms of disappearing.

But the main story line is Donna's preoccupation with disappearing children, a topic she has made her life's work and the trail for which she has called her son Scott from his New York stupor to help her complete. Together they make an odd but ultimately endearing couple as they follow clues for reported missing (read 'kidnapped') children whose bodies are recovered after some ungainly pasts. In the end it is a tale that Donna shares with Scott, his sister Alice, and her friend Dolores - a tale that unveils secrets of Donna's childhood that are shocking and puzzling. In the midst of this search there appears a young teenager Otis who winds up kidnapped in Donna's basement and with whom Scott discovers the secrets Donna has shrouded.

This may sound like a cast of misfits about whom we could care little, but in Scott Heim's eloquent prose we grow into the minds of these folks from Kansas and become inextricably involved in the conundrums they each present. Heim understands addiction, suffering, the dying process, and the need for returning to the womb that mother's, no matter how loony, represent. This is a story that could be excerpted purely for the descriptions of the lonely plains of Kansas and the atmospheres of the seasons. It simply is a fine read, on every level.

Grady Harp
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780061468971
Subtitle:
A Novel
Author:
Heim, Scott
Author:
by Scott Heim
Publisher:
Harper Perennial
Subject:
Gay
Subject:
General
Subject:
Mothers and sons
Subject:
Compulsive behavior
Subject:
Psychological fiction
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Edition Description:
Trade PB
Series:
P.S.
Publication Date:
20080226
Binding:
Paperback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
320
Dimensions:
8.02x5.36x.77 in. .55 lbs.

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Gay and Lesbian » Fiction and Poetry » Men's Fiction

We Disappear (P.S.) Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
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Product details 320 pages Harper Perennial - English 9780061468971 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Strange and luminous, this fascinating psychological thriller from Heim (In Awe) tackles questions of identity, illness and trauma. Scott, a writer and drug addict, travels back to Kansas from New York City at the request of his ill mother, Donna, who's become obsessed with missing children. Scott soon finds out that Donna believes she was kidnapped in her youth by an elderly couple who eventually returned her unharmed. This experience has led her to an odd alliance with a boy who leaves candy on Donna's front porch. When Donna becomes too ill to continue research for a supposed book on disappeared children, Scott, with help from a friend of Donna's, goes on the road for answers. Taut and beautifully clear, the writing at times recalls that of Paul Auster, but the plot ends in a place less interesting than where it began. The reader may feel that revealing the mundane truth behind Donna's childhood experiences betrays the essential mystery of all the lost boys and girls described in the novel." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
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