Friday, April 25, 2003

Scott Heim’s In Awe (HarperCollins, 1997) is a breathtaking novel, literally. I found my breaths growing more shallow and forced as I delved into, especially, the book’s last 50, 75 pages. It’s not a pleasant read, per sé; it’s difficult. But necessary. In its wake, I’m listening to easy-listening-type stuff, songs like Dionne Warwick’s “Déjà Vu” and the Little River Band’s “Reminiscing,” as a perverse sort of salve, but finding myself hearing their seamy underbellies, the darkness hiding in the over-produced arrangements and studio musicians, the smooth, “comforting” vocals. I can already tell that I’m going to have fever dreams about Boris, about Rex, maybe even Sarah, filtering them through my own lens, my own life. In Awe sticks in your brain like evil peanut butter to the roof of your mouth.

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