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'Imagine Me Gone' by Adam Haslett: EW review

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Imagine Me Gone

type:
Book
Current Status:
In Season
author:
Adam Haslett
publisher:
Little, Brown and Company
genre:
Novel

We gave it an A-

“Imagine me gone,” a man tells his children one idyllic summer day. “What would you do?” It’s a game he plays with them sometimes—a test, “like a safety drill at school.” His depression is real, though: a chronic condition that leaves his entire family in its blast radius, even as the brunt of it lands on eldest son Michael. An odd, brilliant boy whose obsessions—Donna Summer songs, social justice, unattainable women—increasingly control him as he grows older, Michael is one of five narrators in Gone and by far the book’s most vivid. If other characters recede in his wake, it also feels true to the impact of mental illness, and Haslett’s writing is at its best when he illuminates not just madness but what it means to witness it, too. A–