Monday, December 12, 2011

Ed King: The Book Jim Stewart Couldn't Put Down

It's one of my goals to find a book that I just can't put down, that page-turner that is so captivating it takes precedent over any other form of entertainment. I have a running list of those books and now I can add Ed King by David Guterson.

Guterson is known from his earlier tome, Snow Falling on Cedars, which many of you may have read, or seen the movie. His writing about characters is so believable, whether or not the person is particularly likeable, that you want to know what is going to happen in the story for everyone involved.

I was thrilled to read Ed King and strongly recommend it. I know there is a lot of competition for what to read, and we all have lists of titles to enjoy (so at least we can tell people the book's “on my list,” whether or not it's read in the next few months...or years!). But you can't just put Ed King on a list. I'm limited in what I can say about the book without giving major plot points away. Suffice it to say that Ed is an orphan, left on a random doorstep in Portland, Oregon. He is adopted by the King family and, following the well-known path of boy to manhood, goes through excruciating adjustments. His time of madcap rebellion is a turning point in his life, showing how determined he is to be independent from any control. Nevertheless, he becomes an Internet magnate after creating an uber-successful search engine. Although he isn't aware of this until the very end of the story, his birth parents play a major role in his life. Those two plot points emerge as a life-changing experience for Ed. The story is a contemporary take on Sophocles' Oedipus the King. To know this plot development dissipates some of the story's tension. Despite this open secret (every book reviewer has uncovered this spoiler) it doesn't take away from your concern for Ed's life and its challenges.

I do want to hear others' responses to reading this book and look forward to hearing from you, so feel free to comment here, come into the store for a chat, or email me at

Jim is a bookseller at Warwick's.

1 comment:

  1. I like his first appearance in "Art Trouble 1934,
    he Often had a role in the films of Frank Capra.

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