Lisa Levy
January 26, 2001 AT 05:00 AM EST

Gob's Grief

type
Book
Current Status
In Season
author
Chris Adrian
genre
Fiction

We gave it a B+

”It’s the greatest open secret, that death will take everyone, that every person is as transient as a shadow.” Gob’s Grief explores that secret through the voices of several eminent 19th-century personages, including Walt Whitman and spiritualist/suffragette Victoria Woodhull — but most poignantly through the one character who can’t accept it, Woodhull’s fictional son Gob, a physician bent on building a machine to revive the Civil War dead. Adrian’s meditation on science, mortality, and mourning sinks under the weight of Gob’s elaborate contraption in its middle section, but comes to rich and satisfying life whenever Whitman shows up. B+

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