Saturday, October 3, 2015

Time to Dust Off the Blog--I SAW A MAN by Owen Sheers

I don't know how you all have managed to cope without this blog regularly posting, but given that the best entertainment available right now is the GOP primary race, I feel like we need to fill a gaping cultural void. Unrelated: last month Gianna decorated my yard with Donald Trump signs, so this blog is now accepting all ideas for retributive pranking. Comment below.

This is what Gianna did to my yard. We must plot revenge.
So if we hadn't been ignoring the blog back in June, I would have been singing the praises of I Saw a Man, the new novel by Owen Sheers. Sheers is a great writer; if you're a fan of Ian McEwan, you'll like Sheers. Also, with this, his second novel after the strong debut effort Resistance (a terrific book that imagines a Welsh village's reaction to Nazi invaders, should the German invasion of Britain have taken place in World War II), Owen Sheers has managed to provide a legitimate "HOLY SHIT" moment in literature. I gasped, and that's not an exaggeration.

I Saw a Man weaves together a few stories, but mostly circles around a man named Michael. His wife, a journalist named Carolyn, was killed in a drone strike while she was meeting with an Afghan warlord. Michael is understandably distraught over the death of his wife and moves to a new flat in London to begin his life again. He soon befriends his neighbors, a couple named Josh and Samantha, and their two children. While grieving, a catastrophic event further alters Michael's, Josh's, and Samantha's lives in an instant.
This is Owen Sheers.
He's dreamy. 

Woven into Michael's story is the story of the drone pilot in Las Vegas who had piloted the craft that killed Michael's wife. I Saw a Man focuses on the instants when lives change. Accidents happen that can shake us to the core, and how we deal with shock, anger, grief, and the emotions that come with disaster are at the heart of this novel.

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