From Holden Caulfield to Moses Herzog, our best literature has been narrated by malcontents. To this lineage add Peter Jernigan, who views the world with ferocious intelligence, grim rapture, and a chainsaw wit that he turns, with disastrous consequences, on his wife, his teenaged son, his dangerously vulnerable mistress and, t least of all, on himself. This vel is a bravura performance: a funny, scary, mesmerizing study of a man walking off the edge with his eyes wide open wisecracking all the way.
David Gates writes about books and music for Newsweek. He lives in New York City and in a small town upstate.