This is a relatively short book that tells the story of an old man, a watch maker, who lies dying. In the last hours of his life, he remembers back to his childhood; a difficult life in rural America. His father would travel around selling bits and bobs from an old cart and suffered from epilepsy, in a time when the condition was not understood. These memories merge with his father’s memories of his own father, a minister, who slowly lost his mind.
The language of this book is probably the best that I have read by a contemporary author. It varies from being almost poetic and lyrical at times, to a stark modernity at other points. A real masterpiece.