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Threats by Amelia Gray (2012)

Finished: Sometime before Thanksgiving

Grade: B+

After David’s wife Franny dies under mysterious circumstances, David descends into grief and

madness, exacerbated by the sudden appearance of vague threatening messages everywhere he looks.

In this surreal nightmare of tiny things invading the cracks of a man’s life, we are left wondering what is real, what is a manifestation of grief, and what is purely the side-effect of a pre-existing mental illness.

I liked this book! My only issue is that the author uses mental illness as an excuse to “do surrealism”. (Which may or may not be problematic in a “don’t romanticize mental illness” sort of way, but I don’t really have the credits to speak on that.) My problem is that it’s hard to tell how much energy the reader should invest in the literal mystery of the story.

You might get caught up wondering: “Did that really happen?

Did David kill his wife? Is his wife still alive? Is she leaving the notes?” And you might be hoping for an answer at the end. But if you do that you’re going to be dissapointed, because really this is a book about a feeling, more than a plot.

As a book about a feeling, it’s very effective, but it takes a while to figure out that’s what it is, and relax into it.

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