Arguably Gordon Lishs masterpiece, Peru begins with its narrator announcing, There is nothing which I will not tell you if I can think of it. Gradually, the story of a dark childhood secretreal or imaginedunfolds: in 1940, six-year-old Gordon murdered his harelipped rival, Steven Adinoff, in a Long Island sandbox . . . (unless he didnt). Perus narrator weaves together strands of disconnected, mesmerizing trivia, resurrecting memories of the mundane suburban childhood that spawned a killing: the sense of tedium on an endless summer day, the squishy sounds of a hoe digging into flesh. Ambiguous, complex, inventive, and subversively comic, Peru is a compendium of unnerving observations about memory, violence, obsession, and the potential horror behind the facade of an ordinary life.
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