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Publisher's Summary

Who makes us what we become? Dr Paul Allen is a well-respected man. He lives a happy, comfortable life with his second wife and their family - until the night when a knock at the door blows his world apart. A hugely popular presidential candidate has been shot, and they say the young man who pulled the trigger is Paul's son.
Daniel, the only child from Paul's first, failed marriage, was always a good kid, and Paul is convinced his quiet boy is not capable of murder. Overwhelmed by a vortex of feelings, Paul embarks on a mission to understand what happened and why. Following the trail of his son's journey across America, he is forced to re-examine his life as a husband and a parent, and every decision he has ever made.
What follows is a powerfully emotional and suspense-filled quest that will keep you guessing to the very end. Monsters don't just become monsters, after all.
©2012 Noah Hawley (P)2012 Random House Audio
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By Amelia on 01-04-14

Difficult journey, Insightful, thought provoking

This book is constructed clearly, flowing easily from the father Paul Allen to his son Daniel recounting their individual stories. This book is set in the USA and I picked it as recommended by Richard and Judy book club.
The narrative was clear and did not distract from the story
Paul is a doctor of Rheumatology who is on his second marriage with 2 young sons. Paul's first marriage produced a son Daniel now aged 20 years. One evening a TV newsflash announces the assassination of a presidential candidate Mr Seagram. Paul learns that his 20-year old son Daniel has been arrested as the assassin.
The story then moves between Paul and Daniel telling their individual stories. Paul tries to understand how his distant but 'normal' son could commit such an act. Daniel's story goes towards the events of the shooting from his unique view.
Paul's journey takes him from denial to conspiracy theories and feelings that Daniel was brainwashed. Paul discusses other notorious assassin's of history like Sirhan Sirhan. I found these very interesting and felt the discussion added greatly to the narrative.
Part of Paul's journey includes dealing with the guilt he has as a parent. He feels the burden of his failure as a father to Daniel and of his abandonment of him following his divorce from his mother Paul wonders to what extent these factors may have contributed to Daniel's actions.
This book pulls deep at human emotions as this could be any father searching for clarity and meaning where no clear answer can be found. Paul eventually reaches acceptance of Daniel while acknowledging that his world will never be the same again. Acceptance brings clarity and a way forward for Paul and his family but with deep scars and 'what if's' that remain forever unanswered.

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4 of 5 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By E Q. on 09-12-17

Dark and compelling

What makes a good father? Or at least good enough? A moving tale of a father's painfully losing his illusions about his role in his son's life what would I have done? Are we still naive about the effect of divorce on our children? I was very caught up in this tale , aided by excellent narration conducted with great animation and different 'voices'.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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