From the time he began appreciating the great novels, Patrick Garry became intrigued with the imaginative artistry and insights of fiction. He wrote dozens of short stories before beginning his first book, which took month to write. Since then, he has published seven more novels, and is currently working on a new ovel about a disgraced lawyer who finds himself filling in at his sick father ’ s diner while defending a case that will unexpectedly end up on the front pag of the national newspapers.
The host of a national book review radio program has called Patrick Garry the best undiscovered writer in America. But Patrick Garry is unique in another respect. He writes about themes and deas that are often absent in the works of contemporary American novelists.
Garry ’ s novels reaffirm life and the conflict of individuals to live their lives in ways that rise above mere materialism and the stranglehold of destructive temptations., he writes about characters who never quite lose their desire for redemption, no matter how much guilt they feel for the mistak of the past. Indeed, as the main characters in discovers, the past, no matter how tragic, is not to be feared. Confronting the past can lead to a discovery of truth, which can then lead to the only true freedom. And once the enslavement to fear is ended, a rediscovery of love becomes possible.
In, Garry portrays America as a place that continually changes—and in doing so, continually offers new opportunities for individuals to find what they have always sought to find. This retellin, of a family ridiculed as it builds the last bomb shelter of the Cold War, reveals how humor and joy can triumph over even the most udden and traumatic tragedies. The O ’ Neals are a quintessential American family, if for no other reason than their ability to laugh at their often unenviable state. Yet, as the narrator acknowledges, sometimes you find love when you ’ re doing absolutely everything to discourage it.
The characters populating are nobly ( and sometimes even irrationally) trying to make the best of a tough situation. They have been brought together by the arrator ’ s father, an irrepressible dreamer who still hopes to turn the tiny little ghost town his ancestors once founded into a thriving community. According to the brother, the ntidote to a past of disappointment is a more intense dream for the future. It is when he is surrounded by the dream of his randfather during the winte of his eighteenth year, when the narrator feels guilt ridden over the death of his mentally handicapped brother, that the narrator discovers the reality of lovin and the eleganc of people who decide to let their dreams, rather than their disappointments, define them.
One of the themes Garry explores in his ovels is the theme of moral relativism and the modern ropensity to let political positions trump moral integrity. In, the main character earns in a very harsh way that political attitudes, no matter how publicly exalted, are no substitute for individual morality. In fact, a superficial pursuit of redemption through a seemingly noble outside goal ultimately sends the narrator to prison. The alue of core moral beliefs is also reflected in, where the main haracter, in his reflexive opposition to anything traditional, discards the very morality that offers the only hope for saving him. Political positions and trendy cultural attitudes not only mask the character ’ s defectio, but actually end up leading him there.
Life can be simpler, and yet more heroic, than is often portrayed in the modern media, which instead can surround us by a confusion of all that can go wrong with life, rather than clarify for us what lies at the core of life—what defines it and makes it worth living. In, an orphan who spent his entire you