By Gilbert Cruz
January 19, 2007 at 05:00 AM EST

Traveler (Book - Ron McLarty)

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Traveler shares much with Ron McLarty’s ’05 debut, The Memory of Running. It’s a melancholic book about death, family, and personal history. This time, it’s Jono Riley, a 51-year-old bartender and part-time actor, who travels back home to Rhode Island after his childhood love dies of a decades-old gunshot wound. The story — which alternates between present and past in every other chapter — works best when exploring the intricacies of East Providence working-class life and worst when focused on the limp present-day mystery. The two unfortunately dovetail in a climax that aims for maximum emotional effect, but drifts wide of its mark.

Traveler (Book - Ron McLarty)

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