Rated Reads

The Resurrectionist

by Jack O'Connell

Rated: High

Sweeney has just moved hundreds of miles, taken a new job, and, most importantly, relocated his young comatose son Danny to a different clinic that specializes in patients who have little hope of awakening from their lost state.

Lost himself in grief and anger, he works nights at the clinic as a pharmacist and spends his time either with his son or sleeping minimally in his spartan apartment in the clinic’s basement.

But quickly he finds himself drawn into a bizarre web of questionable people and murky intentions, and nothing is as it seems. Sweeney is drawn into Limbo, a dark comic book his little boy loved and which serves as a background and running theme throughout the novel. The story of Sweeney and his son is intertwined with the dark fictional story of a troupe of carnival misfits set apart from society by their startling physical deformities.

The novel is dark, eerie and unsettling. Many of the characters are depraved, disturbed and disturbing. The stories of the gang who targets Sweeney and of the comic book “freaks” are frequently vulgar and frightening. The novel has little to uplift, although some of its messages could be redemptive. It is decidedly thought-provoking and has much to offer in its explorations of human nature, the mind and consciousness, and family ties, even those that are unorthodox. It would be a terrific choice for a book club or other discussion group, for those who would be so inclined to immerse themselves in its dark depths.

The Resurrectionist is a wild and absorbing ride, often almost psychedelic and unhinged, for those who can withstand its assaults.

Rated: High, for countless uses of strong language, disturbing images and sexual content. It is vulgar and has depraved characters. It can be disturbing on many levels.

— Reviewed by Cathy Carmode Lim

Cathy Carmode Lim has been reviewing books for newspapers for more than 20 years, two of which she was a book page editor. She founded Rated Reads in January 2008.

Comments are closed.

  • The Resurrectionist
  • by Jack O'Connell
  • Rated: High
  • Genre: Fiction
  • Reviewer: