Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Dave King
Little, Brown (2005)

What a luminous début!

THERE's a poetic, new voice coming out of the Big Apple, one that belongs to Dave King, a New York-based, cab-driving painter and poet.

In his assured début, The Ha-Ha, a novel concerned with the fragility of the human psyche and with what it means to be a human being, King makes audible the voice of a tortured man who cannot speak, read or write after a near-fatal head injury sustained in the war in Vietnam. Though what you see can be deceiving. He has a spare, taut style that serves to heighten the emotional impact of the story's celebration of the resilience of the human spirit, resulting in storytelling that is elegant and emotionally engaging.

Without resorting to clichés or sentimentality and with grace and a lightness of touch bordering on the comic, and through internal monologue imbued with narrative grace and emotional insight, King has managed to create in Howie Kapostash a protagonist that we care about and root for, one who will strike a resonant chord in us. By peopling his story with characters whose ordinary, everyday lives are tempered with truth, he has imbued in his narrative a subtle dignity and compassion that is compelling. What a luminous début and what a pleasure it is to read him!

KING Dave [1955-] Novelist, poet. Born in Meridien, Connecticut. NOVEL The Ha-Ha (2005)

Check out Dave King's website at