By Troy Patterson
Updated March 17, 2020 at 02:53 AM EDT
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A Memory of War

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Thick with enough sophisticated guilt, uptown angst, and Freudian lingo to fuel 2.3 Woody Allen dramas, Busch’s 19th novel leads us into the head of a shrink named Alex Lescziak. His clients include a suicidal architect (with whom he’s been sleeping), a crude transit cop (who’s helping Alex investigate the lover’s disappearance), and a creepy little historian (who professes to be the doctor’s half brother). When not busy ruining his life, Alex tortures himself with daydreams of infidelity — his wife cheating on him with his best friend, his mother sneaking around on his father. The novel’s relentless interiority tends to stifle climaxes and leave the reader wanting air, but there’s genuine feeling in this gloomy, rich story about the stories we tell in self-defense and self-assault.

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A Memory of War

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