Book Review Section Kim Hicks 1 With by Donald Harington, New Milford, CT: Toby Press, 2003. It is difficult to categorize Harington’s latest novel, which begins as the story of an abduction and ends with the creation of an Appalachian Eden. Along the way, Harington throws in a ghost story (of sorts), a survival story, and a variety of inter-and intra- species love stories. The novel’s tone, a blend of practical and magical realism, is sim- ilarly expansive. An attentive reader can learn how to kidnap a girl, make soap, treat bee stings, use a Ouija board to communicate with animals, perform expert fellatio, smoke pork, and determine the sex of a snake. With contains echoes of Walden, the Bible, Lolita, and the Farmer ’s Almanac and—as an extra flourish—employs a nar- rative voice that can move seamlessly between characters, species, and states of being, all the while commenting self-consciously on its own devices. As if not all this were enough, Harington gives readers both a happy ending and enough questions to under- mine that denouement. What readers ultimately make of With will depend upon whether they believe cap- tive creatures can transform the terms of their own
Society & Animals – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 2005
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