ISBN is

978-1-4000-3165-8 / 9781400031658

Before You Know Kindness

by

Publisher:Vintage

Edition:Softcover

Language:English

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About the book:

If you imagine most writer's bathrooms (and this is probably a mistake) you'd picture damp towels in a clump on the floor, hair in the soap, a few mildewed paperbacks stacked on the counter. But it's impossible to picture Chris Bohjalian's bathroom as anything but an Architectural Digest centerfold: polished counters, not a stray thread on the plush towels, the modulated colors sparked to life by fresh flowers from a neighbor's garden.

Bohjalian's eighth novel, Before You Know Kindness, is a beautifully observed, delicately balanced portrait of a family that could only come from the hands of a tireless craftsman who keeps reaching into his story to straighten the tulips or tuck in a shirttail. It begins with two EMTs leaning over animal rights' activist Spencer McCullough's gushing shotgun wound and winds back through the ordinary days leading up to the extraordinary accident, and then forward again as Spencer and his family come to terms with what has happened. As ambitious as other Bohjalian novels, Before You Know Kindness spirals out to encompass the larger issues of Spencer's political loyalties and the heartless, passionate world of political spin. Some readers may find Bohjalian's style too smooth. Others will relish the completeness of his vision and his obvious tenderness for even the most difficult of his characters. --Regina Marler

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