Monday, December 17, 2012



Jesse Kellerman

Take a well-worn genre, the thriller. Add plot and counter-plot, masked identities and (of course) a shadowy government organization.

Now, shake it up, add another well-known trope, the middle-aged nebbish, a failed writer (in this case Arthur Pfefferkorn) who longs for the fame and fortune (and wife) of a “hack” writer. Did we mention that the “hack” used to be Pfefferkorn’s best friend?

All this comes barreling down on Pfefferkorn when his friend, William de Vallèe, disappears at sea under odd circumstances.

Pfefferkorn does something awful. And that sets the whole ball rolling.

Kellerman definitely read a lot of “Spy vs. Spy” in his youth. It shows. And the humor and absurdity just keeps piling on. The book ventures in to existentialism and some moderately deep musings on the creative process.

While Kellerman tries a little too hard, the book is recommended for angsty philosophy majors and those of us who need an intelligent laugh.

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