Percival Everett by Virgil Russell Summary and Reviews

Percival Everett by Virgil Russell

A Novel

by Percival Everett

Percival Everett by Virgil Russell by Percival Everett X
Percival Everett by Virgil Russell by Percival Everett
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  • Published Feb 2013
    256 pages
    Genre: Literary Fiction

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Book Summary

A story inside a story inside a story. A man visits his aging father in a nursing home, where his father writes the novel he imagines his son would write. Or is it the novel that the son imagines his father would imagine, if he were to imagine the kind of novel the son would write?

Let's simplify: a woman seeks an apprenticeship with a painter, claiming to be his long-lost daughter. A contractor-for-hire named Murphy can't distinguish between the two brothers who employ him. And in Murphy's troubled dreams, Nat Turner imagines the life of William Styron. These narratives twist together with anecdotes from the nursing home, each building on the other until they crest in a wild, outlandish excursion of the inmates led by the father. Anchoring these shifting plotlines is a running commentary between father and son that sheds doubt on the truthfulness of each story. Because, after all, what narrator can we ever trust?

Not only is Percival Everett by Virgil Russell a powerful, compassionate meditation on old age and its humiliations, it is an ingenious culmination of Everett's recurring preoccupations. All of his prior work, his metaphysical and philosophical inquiries, his investigations into the nature of narrative, have led to this masterful book. Percival Everett has never been more cunning, more brilliant and subversive, than he is in this, his most important and elusive novel to date.

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Media Reviews

"By the conclusion, every sentence, indeed every word, has come to seem like a valuable key, not just to this puzzle of a novel, but to the meaning of existence." - Publishers Weekly

"An ambitious novel in which the formalistic chances taken by the author are often stimulating and occasionally exasperating." - Kirkus

This information about Percival Everett by Virgil Russell was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. Publication information is for the USA, and (unless stated otherwise) represents the first print edition. The reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that they do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, send us a message with the mainstream reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

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Author Information

Percival Everett Author Biography

Photo: Michael Avedon

Percival Everett is the author of more than thirty books, most recently The Trees, Telephone, which was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, and Dr. No.

Other books by Percival Everett at BookBrowse
  • Dr. No jacket
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