Synopses & Reviews
Sixty-two letters from a nameless protagonist comprise this epistolary novel. He writes them to Emma, a woman he sees at a party. Each entry captures the loose, disparate details of daily life, including desires, frustrations, joys, social observations, anecdotes, advice, and the self, as depicted through emotional weather updates. Emmas replies are not revealed, but the narrators persona is as he philosophizes and courts the object of his affection. He is a fan of boxing, a scientist by trade, and a student of the vortex”an entity he uses to describe his self-deterioration and the emptiness in his life. Together, the letters reveal the internal dialog of a conflicted protagonist who shadowboxes Emma, himself, and even the reader.
There are two categories of insight: the one that elicits a mild shrug of respectful recognition, and the occasional complete table-turnerthe insight that goes beyond the commonplacethat eats away at your psyche like a boll weevil in the biscuit tin. It is the latter kind that mournful minstrel Bill Callahan trades in.” Independent