Russell E. Saltzman on the calamity of death:
I remember Melisa’s mother grappling with her daughter’s death. There isn’t anyone who doesn’t try to make sense of death. We try to make sense of everything. We do not like not knowing, as if motivations, circumstances, some little sense of the casualties will help us scale the ever-elusive summit of “closure.” Some things make no sense and never will, not even after all the explanations have been made, as if anything in this life can close the gash of death.
Also today, Franklin Freeman reviews Martin Amis’s Lionel Asbo: State of England:
I haven’t enjoyed a novel by Martin Amis so much since his 1995 work The Information. His newest book, Lionel Asbo: State of England, is as darkly comic as its predecessor with a similarly Odyssey-like plot. The protagonist has committed a crime—though in the case of the writer in The Information his crime was an ambiguously attempted infidelity and in Lionel Asbo, it is a real crime, or at least the breaking of a taboo—and then has to attempt to redeem himself.