Vintage, Paperback, 9780375726248, 400pp.
Publication Date: March 12, 2002
In the summer of 1863, Gob and Tomo Woodhull, eleven-year-old twin sons of Victoria Woodhull, agree to together forsake their home and family in Licking County, Ohio, for the glories of the Union Army. But on the night of their departure for the war, Gob suffers a change of heart, and Tomo is forced to leave his brother behind. Tomo falls in as a bugler with the Ninth Ohio Volunteers and briefly revels in camp life; but when he is shot clean through the eye in his very first battle, Gob is left to endure the guilt and grief that will later come to fuel his obsession with building a vast machine that will bring Tomo–indeed, all the Civil War dead–back to life.
Epic in scope yet emotionally intimate, Gob’s Grief creates a world both fantastic and familiar and populates it with characters who breath on the page, capturing the spirit of a fevered nation populated with lost brothers and lost souls.
Chris Adrian’s fiction has appeared in The New Yorker, The Paris Review, Ploughshares, Story and in Best American Short Stories. Currently a medical student, he lives in San Francisco.
“Impressive…. So much more ambitious and profound than most contemporary American fiction.” –The Washington Post
“A masterpiece of retrospective mythology…. Adrian hasn’t just reimagined or reenacted this time of national crisis; he’s managed to relive it through his characters.”–Walter Kirn, GQ
“Remarkable…. Utterly different. A work unlike any that has come before it.”–The Economist
“Unlike many first time novelists, Adrian takes great risks here. He brings to life scores of historical figures, from Walt Whitman to Abe Lincoln, with a startling ease and grace. More remarkable, however, is his ability to inspire sympathy for–even faith in–Gob’s mission.” –Time Out New York
“Remarkable . . . utterly different. A work unlike any that has come before it.” –The Economist