This Friday and every Friday for the next several months I'll be featuring a book in the Harper Perennial Imprint. Some were recently published, some will be released later this year, all are worth a closer look.
Today we have something completely different. What would happen if you couldn't remember who were and you had lost your ability to feel pain? That's exactly what Sean Ferrell explores in his debut novel, Numb.
Here's the publisher's summary:
"Early one morning‚ after a sandstorm had ripped through north Texas‚ I wandered into Mr. Tilly's circus. I wore a black suit and blood ran down my face. When some of the carnies came up to me, I said, 'I'm numb.' This became my name."I was drawn to Numb for two principal reasons. First, of course, I wanted to know who Numb was and how he became numb. But I was also curious about Ferrell's take on fame and how the American media and public decide who becomes a celebrity and why.
A man with no memory who feels no pain, Numb travels to New York City after a short stint with the circus, following the one and only clue he holds to his hidden history: a brittle, bloodstained business card. But once there, word of his condition rapidly spreads—sparked by the attention he attracts by letting people nail his hands to wooden bars for money—and he quickly finds himself hounded on all sides by those who would use his unique ability in their own pursuits of fame and fortune. It is a strange world indeed that Numb numbly stumbles through, surrounded by crowds of suck-ups and opportunists, as he confronts life's most basic and difficult question: Who am I?
I love what people have been saying about Numb:
- All Purpose Monkey wrote in the Savannah Morning News: "Ferrell sure as hell has served up a book that makes you think about how we define ourselves. . . . And when an author has the chops to both entertain readers as well as make them think, that’s a beautiful thing."
- Sarah at Blue Truck Book Reviews said: "The plot is perhaps a little light on the details . . . but the swift pace is somehow perfect. To slow down would be to feel perhaps a little too deeply how much everything hurts a person who feels no pain."
- J.C. from Biblio Blogazine said: "Numb’s story is the story of us all. Searching for ourselves, understanding who we are, defining our place in life and amongst society is an ageless theme. Ferrell gives it a new face and twist in this intriguing story."
This book was featured as part of my Spotlight on the Harper Perennial imprint. For information about the imprint, please read Erica Barmash's welcome note posted here on June 18, 2010. I encourage you to add your reviews of Harper Perennial books to the review link-up page; it's a great way to discover Good Books for Cool People. See the alphabetized review index to see what others are saying. And don't miss the The Olive Reader, the Harper Perennial blog.