Excerpt from City of the Sun by David Levien, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

City of the Sun

by David Levien

City of the Sun
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    Feb 2008, 320 pages
    Paperback:
    Feb 2009, 432 pages

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
Vy Armour

Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt


"I suggest you talk to his teachers." He manages to start again. "See if everything was jake at school. Ask his friends . . ."

"Fine, we will, but . . ." Paul offers.

"Anything you do along those lines will save us legwork." Pomeroy taps a silver pen against the edge of the desk.

"What are you going to do? What about issuing an alert?"

"We have. We've passed around the information. Okay, ma'am. We'll open it up wide. We'll set up on your house. Your place of business, too. I'll put officers out in the neighborhood canvassing door to door. And I want you to call in the minute your son shows up"—Pomeroy leads them out of the glass-walled office—"because he's going to." Pomeroy smiles reassuringly. "He's going to." And he shuts the door behind them.

"That man is not going to help us." Carol's words come, grim. Paul says nothing.




The seasonal switch has been made to Eastern Standard Time, and darkness is coming early in Indiana. The Buick drives up. After long hours of looking, of hanging flyers, Paul steps out of the car, the way he has so many times after picking Jamie up from soccer practice. Paul stands on the driver's side. Carol, after an afternoon of waiting by the phone, appears in the front door. She shakes her head. In the setting sun, Paul is a handsome, still-young father. He appraises his home of comfort, his still-young wife before it. A police cruiser is parked at the curb. He walks toward the house and she crosses toward him. They come together and cling to each other in the driveway, neither sure what they're holding on to now. The sun drops below the trees.





Paul eats a bleak dinner of cold cereal. Rigged to the phone is a trace/recording device monitored by the two patrolmen outside in their cruiser. Carol sits in a trancelike state next to him. A scratching is heard at the kitchen door. Carol gets up and lets Tater in. His mouth drips blood. She gets a dish towel and wipes him clean. He is uninjured—the blood belongs to something else—and he rumbles off into the living room, excited at the smell of the police sniffer dogs that have been through the house all afternoon. Paul shakes more Lucky Charms into his bowl and the prize falls out.

"He was waiting for this. I'll save it for him." He puts it aside on the table and breaks down, his shoulders shaking with sobs.

Carol stands across the kitchen. She doesn't go to him. After some time he stops.

"Let's just go up to bed." He stands. Maybe we'll wake up tomorrow and find out this was all a bad dream, he wants to say, but does not.

Paul crosses to the staircase. Carol goes to the wall and turns on the living room and porch lights.

"Let's leave these on in case." She follows him up the stairs.




The door swings open, throwing light onto the mattress, which the boy has pulled off the bed and angled against the wall over himself like a protective lean-to. Rooster offhandedly tosses a grease-soaked fast-food bag into the room and sniffs to himself at the attempted defense. Never seen that one before. As if it'd work. He slams the door behind him. Again the room is awash in darkness.




Paul lies on his back in the darkened bedroom, unfeeling of the mattress beneath him. He floats in space defined only by his misery. Grief that he could never have imagined surrounds him and tears at him from every direction. Circumstances pulverize him, sap him motionless in the dark. A dull rumbling sound filters in from the bathroom. There, sitting in a filling tub, Carol thinks of Jamie when he was a three-year-old playing the Down the Drain game, an amusement of his own invention. Better get the plumber, Mommy, I'm gone. I'm down the drain. . . . Carol's pale back shakes. The water pounds and thunders. She realizes the sound isn't the water but her screams.

Published by Doubleday. Copyright © 2008 by Levien Works, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

One-Month Free Membership

Join Today!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Here I Am
    Here I Am
    by Jonathan Safran Foer
    With almost all the accoutrements of upper middle-class suburban life, Julia and Jacob Bloch fit the...
  • Book Jacket: Harmony
    Harmony
    by Carolyn Parkhurst
    In previous novels such as The Dogs of Babel and Lost and Found, Carolyn Parkhurst has shown herself...
  • Book Jacket: Commonwealth
    Commonwealth
    by Ann Patchett
    Opening Ann Patchett's novel Commonwealth about two semi-functional mid-late 20th Century ...

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    Darling Days
    by iO Tillett Wright

    A devastatingly powerful memoir of one young woman's extraordinary coming of age.

    Read Member Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    The Tea Planter's Wife
    by Dinah Jefferies

    An utterly engrossing, compulsive page-turner set in 1920s Ceylon.

    Read Member Reviews

Book Discussions
Book Jacket
Sweet Caress
by William Boyd

William Boyd's Sweet Caress captures an entire lifetime unforgettably within its pages. It captivates.

About the book
Join the discussion!
Win this book!
Win Blood at the Root

Blood at the Root

"A gripping, timely, and important examination of American racism."
- PW Starred Review

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

D C Y C Before T A H

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.

 
X

Free Weekly Newsletter

Keep up with what's happening in the world of books:
Reviews, previews, interviews and more!



Spam Free: Your email is never shared with anyone; opt out any time.