A review of

Our Ecstatic Days

by Steve Erickson

Central question: Will imagination of all things help us survive the most terrifying times?
Format: 336 pp, cloth; Size: 6-1/8" x 9-1/4"; Price: $24.00; Publisher: Simon & Schuster; Editor: Denise Roy; Book designer: Jane Hardick; Typeface: Times New Roman; Average length of a Steve Erickson novel: 271 pages; Number of pages by which this novel exceeds that average: 65; Element most often manipulated in Erickson’s work: Time; Representative sentence: “With the smaller forceps she invades the snake’s mouth and then, when the tool proves useless, throws the forceps to the floor and sticks her fingers in the snake’s open mouth roughly pulling the helix from its throat.”

A most odd and challenging romance of risk, dream, and women unfolds in this story about a mother and her son. As soon as I have said this about Steve Erickson’s new novel Our Ecstatic Days, I am in trouble. The huge scope of the book and the shifting, palimpsest-like ground on which these imagined events take place call into question the story itself and its intricate and elusive characters.

We hope you enjoy this excerpt.

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—Joseph McElroy

Joseph McElroy is the author of eight novels, including most recently Actress in the House (Overlook).

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