I Shall Be Gone

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After a tragic accident leaves him without a family, Jobeus finds himself moving from foster home to foster home, until he ends up with the Hawes’s, a well-meaning couple who take in children ever since their own teenage son was lost in the vast woods surrounding their land. For Jobeus, the days are a slow misery as he’s constantly chided to do this and think that, while the asking of questions only leads to mandatory bible study and warnings from disgruntled teachers. His only means of escape are the woods surrounding the Hawes’s house, and Darlandia – a magical world that exists only in the pages of a book. Into this seemingly oppressive existence come a stream of fascinating, and sometimes unlikely characters: McBoon, the industrial millionaire who aspires to the greatness of a backwoods prophet; Finnegan, the nomad wanderer and writer, looking for answers to combat the tide of organized oppression sweeping the world; Charlie, the old man who lives with the Hawes’s and seems to carry time with him. From them, and many others, Jobeus begins forming his own perspective of the world and who he is in it.

Ultimately, I Shall Be Gone is a story of ignorance and control, and how the two can come together to stifle individual thinking, sometimes so seamlessly that you don’t even know it’s happening until it’s too late. Ferrara exhibits a pretty masterful control of the borderline stream-of-consciousness style that’s used to take us into Jobeus’s thoughts. Sometimes wandering randomly, sometimes overly verbose, the story still manages to flow consistently and with purpose, in the end delivering its heart-felt message intact. Although a touch more subtlety would probably go a long way in certain passages, I still enjoyed this book immensely and look forward to seeing more work by this author.

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Star Count 4/5
Format eBook
Page Count 401 pages
Publisher Pruett Street Press
Publish Date 17-Feb-2014
ISBN 9781495101113
Bookshop.org Buy this Book
Issue August 2014
Category Modern Literature


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