Jennifer Egan: The Keep

The Keep had me enthralled within the first handful of pages, and held me that way throughout; I devoured it in a single day, almost literally in a single sitting. It’s a tricky book to discuss without giving the wrong things away, but within the first chapter the reader has clues that the relationship between reader, narrator, and narrative is not straightforward or easily defined, when an “I” intrudes into what at first seems like third-person narration about a guy named Danny:

You? Who the hell are you? That’s what someone must be saying right about now. Well, I’m the guy talking. Someone’s always doing the talking, just a lot of times you don’t know who it is or what their reasons are.

and a little later:

Not because I’m Danny or he’s me or any of that shit — this is all just stuff a guy told me.

Danny’s story is a really terrific updated gothic spook story, precisely the sort of tale that John Harwood spins so effectively. The narrator’s story is something quite different: realistic and gritty. I found both equally compelling.

needs more demons? absolutely not.

Published by therealsummervillain

likes: equality, making things easier to use, biking, jangle, distortion, monogamy dislikes: bigotry, policies that jeopardize people, lack of transparency

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