A Memory of War Thick with enough sophisticated guilt, uptown angst, and Freudian lingo to fuel 2.3 Woody Allen dramas, Busch's 19th novel leads us into the head of… A Memory of War Thick with enough sophisticated guilt, uptown angst, and Freudian lingo to fuel 2.3 Woody Allen dramas, Busch's 19th novel leads us into the head of… Fiction
Book Review

A MEMORY OF WAR (2014)

EW's GRADE
B

Details Writer: Frederick Busch; Genre: Fiction

Thick with enough sophisticated guilt, uptown angst, and Freudian lingo to fuel 2.3 Woody Allen dramas, Busch's 19th novel leads us into the head of a shrink named Alex Lescziak. His clients include a suicidal architect (with whom he's been sleeping), a crude transit cop (who's helping Alex investigate the lover's disappearance), and a creepy little historian (who professes to be the doctor's half brother). When not busy ruining his life, Alex tortures himself with daydreams of infidelity -- his wife cheating on him with his best friend, his mother sneaking around on his father. The novel's relentless interiority tends to stifle climaxes and leave the reader wanting air, but there's genuine feeling in this gloomy, rich story about the stories we tell in self-defense and self-assault.

Originally posted Feb 07, 2003 Published in issue #694 Feb 07, 2003 Order article reprints