Wednesday, September 19, 2007

The House Gun

My latest read is The House Gun by Nadine Gordimer. This is an amazingly well written book about a very unpleasant topic. An upper middle class white couple, in a former colonial African country, are horrified to find out their adult son has not only been arrested for murder, but he has plead guilty. This book travels through the disbelief, the horror, the thoughts and the actions of the parents as they try to understand, place blame and finally accept what they think they know about their son. The book also deals with subtle racism and homophobia in a newly freed and "liberal" country. This is not a feel-good book. There is no happy ending. But it is a thought provoking book. How would you act if your child committed a murder? Do you still love them? Whose fault is it: yours, your spouses, societies? Does life go on "normally" afterwards? I really don't know if I would recommend this book or not. It is amazingly well written and it does make you think about yourself and your beliefs. So maybe I would recommend it, with the warning that you're probably not going to feel great about it afterwards.

On that note, we leave for Minnesota tomorrow, so have a great week/weekend.


Jay said...

Yeah, I know what you mean by that - I haven't read this one, but I have read the kind where you put it down and....yeah.

Anonymous said...

I'd say that the book doesn't just address the problem involved with having a child that murders. Rather it goes further into the context of post-apartheid South Africa and how the upper class' inaction and refusal to take responsibility plays out into the bigger picture, that of a country's reconciliation.