Day 312: Castle

Cover for CastleEven from the first moments of reading the unusual Castle, the novel seems to be about more than is on the surface. That notion turns out to be the case.

Eric Loesch returns to the town where he grew up and buys a large piece of property outside of town. Then he starts fixing up the farm house. He almost immediately becomes fixated on a large rock on the property and eventually finds the ruins of a castle behind it.

This activity seems all very straightforward, but something more is going on, we’re sure. Loesch is an unusual man, as demonstrated throughout by his thoughts and actions. His reactions to seemingly ordinary conversational gambits seem extreme. His emphasis on privacy seems excessive. We also feel, although we don’t know why, that he may have a military background.

Castle is a novel that unfolds slowly but keeps your attention throughout. It becomes clear that there are painful incidents in Loesch’s past, but the novel takes its time getting to them, and Loesch seems to be in denial about some of them.

The writing is skillful, particularly in delineating Loesch’s character through his behavior. In fact, I don’t know when I’ve understood the personality of such an unusual character so particularly before without the author actually telling me about it.

The revelations at the end of the novel are not, for the most part, foreseeable, although I could eventually predict at least one important plot point. All-in-all, Castle is a disquieting, dark tale.

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