by Nino Ricci
Genre: Literary Fiction
Just finished Nino Ricci’s new novel, SLEEP. Nervy tough book, and really smart. He enters the Shadow Self via his main character David, whose brain is messed up because of a sleep disorder. So he gets stuck in shadow-self. A place, ahem, one or two of us might recognize only too well. He self-destructs and behaves badly at every turn. There is no handy redemption scene at the end. He has no one to blame but himself.
Why I recommend this book: Highly recommend, though it ain’t no walk in the park. Ricci takes on the tiresome need for a ‘sympathetic character’ and upends it. David is not sympathetic or nice, but heck, he sure is interesting. And sentence by sentence, Ricci ventures fearlessly into the mind of a seriously effed up man. I may flinch, but yes, I do want to go there, I do want to find out, I do want access to our darker self. And make no mistake, when I say ‘our’, I’m saying I am complicit.
Guest reviewer’s latest title or project: Fall 2015: A feature on sculptor James Carl in Canadian Art Magazine. 2014 a novel , The Blue Guitar ( novelist James Banville has seized this title this fall for his own novel. I’m hoping people will buy mine by mistake). I am putting the final touches to a new novel called, WHERE’S BOB? It is about, in part, a middle aged woman and her elderly mother who are spending a week at an all inclusive Mexican resort, and inadvertently become tangled up with the drug cartels. (Ann Ireland was previously featured on Reading Recommendations.)