Sunday, June 12, 2011

Bookend: Castle by J. Robert Lennon


 I originally purchased Castle for a class, where it turned out I needed a different title (Pieces for the Left Hand, which is, incidentally, very good) by J. Robert Lennon. Castle sounded very intriguing so I never returned it. 

The pacing in Castle is very controlled, even though at times, the story moves along slowly. It's about a man named Eric Loesch who returns to his hometown for reasons unknown to the reader. There he purchases a run-down home in the woods and renovates it. The renovation consumes the first quarter of the book, but it never gets boring. I owe this to Lennon's ability to reveal hints at crucial times that are both mysterious and intriguing. Eric Loesch in the novel is very methodical, and the way Lennon describes him is very methodical. Which makes me wonder if Lennon isn't very methodical himself?

There are times when Eric is a closed narrator, and his thoughts aren't known to the reader. This did confuse me towards the end (without giving anything away) but I think it's just a further facet of Eric's character. Because not only does he close himself off to his community members, he also closes down to the reader, which is actually kind of cool because I didn't even realize it while it was happening.

Castle can be a little spooky at times because of its psychological tendency. Lennon is a great writer and chooses his words very carefully; I found this out in Pieces for the Left Hand, which is a collection of micro fiction.

I would read this book again, and am excited to read more books by J. Robert Lennon.