Happy Memorial Day weekend everybody!
The teens in Gethsemane, Ohio have begun killing themselves terrifyingly regularly. No one knows why. Steven Wrigley just wants to finish high school until the names appear. They’re in his hand writing, in his notebook. Clouds and suicides. Something is wrong in Gethsemane. Something is feeding off of the sorrow from the suicides.
Anderson Prunty’s writing in The Sorrow King makes me think of beat poetry. There’s a feel to it like the characters don’t quite know what to do with themselves and are trying to talk themselves through the situation. Normally this would bother me but it works here because The Sorrow King is very much about the characters. Steven spends much of his time as a focus character trying to figure out what, if anything, has anything to do with him directly. He’s interested in finding out more about the girl than figuring out what’s going on with the town. The character interactions more than make up for the Sorrow King himself not showing up until the last third or so of the book. He just isn’t as important as the characters’ reactions to what he’s done. The Sorrow King represents a barrier rather than a character of his own, a mental block that’s become something more.
There were some points where Steven’s whining became a bother, but those were few and far between. Some of Connor’s parts were hard to read due to his constant worrying. All said though I would read more of Prunty’s work if it’s all this kind of quality. I give The Sorrow King a four out of five.