And Sons

Gilbert_AndSons1

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This story should no longer be interesting. Fathers and sons? The blessing and curse of the son who follows in his father’s footsteps? Upper class men in the artsy culture of New York City? Done, and done to death, correct?

But from the moment I opened “And Sons” in a Singapore airport bookstore and turned to a random sentence, all those old stories fell away. This is those stories, and it is not. It is something ancient and intensely modern, something told endlessly but never told like this. Just as the relationship between fathers and sons repeats itself across time, and all the other days the story was lived are nothing next to the drama of the moment, so is this novel something simultaneously old and new.

In prose that just kills me, with sentences that last for pages and left me unable to tear myself away, this book is something truly special. Just because a story has already been told is not a good enough reason not to retell it.

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