Book: Take Me Back

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Take Me Back: A Novel

Author: Richard Bausch
Publisher: Louisiana State University Press

Richard Bausch’s novels and short stories render the struggles of ordinary people through simple, direct language and a straightforward narrative style. His southern Catholic sensibility and his emphasis on spiritual crises and the nebulous nature of human connections have evoked comparisons to the writing of Flannery O’Connor.

Take Me Back, Bausch’s second novel, set in a dingy apartment complex in fictional Point Royal, Virginia, explores the disaffected lives of Gordon Brinhart, an unsuccessful insurance salesman; his wife, Katherine, a former rock guitarist; and Katherine’s illegitimate son, Alex, a subdued eleven-year-old obsessed with baseball. When Gordon goes on a drinking binge, loses his job, and sleeps with a teenage neighbor, Katherine attempts suicide, and Alex is the unfortunate witness to it all. In Take Me Back, Bausch has fashioned a harrowing examination of the hopelessness, despondency, and frailty families can engender.

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