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As of 28 February 2016, due to decline in my health and chronic illness

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Review: A DENSITY OF SOULS by Christopher Rice


I had read much comment on this book at first publication in 2002, but not the book. Once I read THE HEAVENS RISE, I realized Mr. Rice should be one of my always-read authors, and reading his most recent novel, THE VINES, only confirmed that. So I am gratified that his earlier novels are being republished, and decided to start with A DENSITY OF SOULS, his first.

I found this not gory at all, but saddening. For some reason, even after more than six decades of living, reading both fiction and nonfiction, historical and contemporary, I find myself still unaccountably startled and shocked whenever evidence of the depravity of the human soul rears its ugly self. I'm speaking here of bigotry, domestic violence, the compulsion to control, and of course homophobia. I felt such empathy for Stephen, and some for his mother Monica. I can't say as much for Meredith (whom I wanted to like but could not), Greg, or Brandon. I do.know this: after I finished the book last night, I didn't want to read anything else right away. A DENSITY OF SOULS lingered all night in my mind, and continues to claim a place there.

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