A short, potent novel of a son's complicated feelings in the aftermath of his obese father's death.
Big Ray's obesity and his mean temper define him, at least to his family. When Big Ray dies, his son Daniel puts his feelings aside, for a while. Years later, Daniel attempts to reckon with the enduring, outsized memory of his father.
In this stunning novel a middle-aged man comes to terms with his father's death - and with his life. Told in five hundred brief entries, the complexity of this searing novel becomes more and more intricate as the son's brave confession moves back and forth between the past and the present, between an abusive childhood and an adult understanding.
Shot through with humour and insight that will resonate with anyone who has a complicated parental relationship, Big Ray is a staggering family story - at once brutal and tender, unusual and unsettling.
About the Author
Michael Kimball is the author of The Way the Family Got Away, Dear Everybody and How Much of Us There Was. His work has been featured on NPR's All Things Considered and in the Guardian, Vice, Bomb and New York Tyrant. He is also a documentary filmmaker. He lives in Baltimore.
A slim and finely-toned book about an overweight ruin of a father ... an uncompromising work of power and grace. I finished reading it a week ago, but I still can't put it down Jon McGregor Psychologically acute, Michael Kimball's narrative is also shot through with gallows humour Stephanie Cross, Daily Mail A surprisingly enthralling portrait of an abusive father who surrendered to self-loathing and a son's struggle to forget him . What results is a spellbinding and unflinching meditation on forgiveness, a novel that secures Kimball's reputation as a literary innovator Time Out, Chicago We carry our parents with us. For some, it's a mostly congenial burden, a mixed blessing of joy, resentment, respect, anger, pleasure and pain. For others, including Daniel Todd Carrier, the aptly named narrator of Michael Kimball's astonishingly moving novel, the weight is almost too much to bear . Big Ray is an appalling tale told with anger, dark humor and surprising tenderness Wall Street Journal Michael Kimball never ceases to astonish. He is a hero of contemporary fiction Sam Lipsyte In this tender, gorgeous novel, Michael Kimball explores how we try to understand even the most difficult family members Oprah.com A short read that will stay with you for a long time ... Humorous yet heartbreaking Grazia In this sparingly written document, which pares back all extraneous detail to get at the emotional core, there's a striking degree of honesty ... It is, above all, a convincing depiction of a man trying to work through conflicting emotions to settle on a conclusion about a father's real legacy: how he is remembered by his children Herald (Glasgow) Slim haunting novel ... Daniel's meditations on his dead father achieve the precision of poetry. New details emerge with re-reading so that, like the process of making sense of formative events, you never really finish Big Ray Independent
Number Of Pages: 192
Published: 1st January 2013
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing Plc
Dimensions (cm): 21.5 x 15.5 x 1.6
Weight (kg): 0.28