Monday, May 14, 2007

GARCIA'S HEART by Liam Durcan (2007)

Durcan's first novel is now on my list of top ten contemporary novels. I had only intended to dip into it this weekend and instead dove headfirst, reluctant to come up for air.

Dr. Hernan Garcia is on trial for crimes against humanity committed in the 1980s in Honduras. Patrick Lazerenko, a neurologist with previously close ties to Garcia's family, finds himself taking a leave of absence and travelling to the Hague where he tries to reconcile his understanding of this man who had been so kind and generous to him in the past.

The book appealed to me on many levels--as an exploration of a complicated man; as a travelogue of the Hague (where I roamed last March); as a bildungsroman; as a lesson in medical terminology...I am particularly interested now in neurological terms because a dear friend has been recently diagnosed with inoperable brain cancer; as a riff on man's inhumanity to man.....and the kindness of strangers.

Really, it's such a brilliant book. And beautifully written. All discerning readers should pick up a copy of Liam Durcan's GARCIA'S HEART.

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