January 01, 2014
This Will Get You Thinking
Amazon.com Review by Ralph White
While this is technically Peter Gelfan's debut novel, it's far from his first book since he's midwifed hundreds of them as an editor. It figures that he'd craft it with non-linear complexity. Here's an example. You've gotten your mind around a multiracial married couple living in rural New Hampshire taking in an abandoned woman with two nice kids and forming a wholesome nuclear family. Now one of the children's teachers asks her students to draw something from their home lives. Three parents sharing a bed isn't what the teacher had in mind, so she displays another of the kid's non home-themed drawings. After all, parent conference day is coming up and the other parents might disapprove. What would you have done?
Gelfan is at his best when exploring the logical fringes of moral equivalency, as in when, with extreme reluctance, the protagonist agrees to share his wife with the surprise visitor formerly the spouse and father of the woman and kids. The protagonist forces himself, and the reader, to watch the excruciating moment of penetration, driving his, and our, primal notions of human feelings toward a nightmarish train wreck.
Expect to read Found Objects carefully, as you would Somerset Maughm, and give yourself time after closing it to get a grip.