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Tony and Susan    by Austin Wright order for
Tony and Susan
by Austin Wright
Order:  USA  Can
Grand Central, 2011 (2011)
Hardcover, e-Book

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* *   Reviewed by Bob Walch

This story within a story begins when Susan Morrow is asked by her former husband to read the manuscript of his newly completed novel. The couple has been divorced for fifteen years but her ex would like Susan's input since she was always his best critic.

Along with Susan we then begin, Nocturnal Animals, the tale of Tony Hastings, a math professor who is driving his family to their summer home in Maine. His nightmarish journey begins with the family being forced off the road at night. What follows will not be for the faint of heart.

As the shattering and unforgettable tale unfolds, the narrative stops at times so that we get Susan's reaction to the manuscript and how it relates to her present married life.

Although this switching back and forth may put off some readers who'd rather just focus on the Hastings ordeal, Susan's contribution to the overall narrative is what gives this unusual book its depth. As she reads the story her former husband created, she is also forced to confront her own dark past and how this single event may have consequences in the future.

For many years Austin Wright was Professor Emeritus of English at the University of Cincinnati. He passed away in 2003 at the age of eighty. This story of marriage, murder and revenge is one of seven novels he published.

A one of a kind book, Tony and Susan will stand as a fitting memorial to the author's creative ingenuity.

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