Book review: Numb by Sean Ferrell

21 Aug

If the title character of Sean Ferrell’s first novel were blindsided with a two-by-four, he wouldn’t feel it. He is “the man in scars and jeans who worked with hammers and nails but no wood.” 

From the moment Numb, a man who feels no pain and has no memory of his past, stepped into a circus ring with a lion, I was invested in him. When he moved to New York City with his best friend; when he rose to fame for nailing himself to bars; when he started living with a sweet, blind artist; when he gave in to a sado-masochistic relationship with an actress; when the tragedy and ugliness of celebrity twisted the puppet strings of his life; when he, and his emotional pain, finally fell apart; I pulled for him.  

Ferrell’s gift here is an inventive, creative story. The plot is perhaps a little light on the details – the reader must give up on the details of every who, where, when, and how – but the swift pace is somehow perfect. To slow down would be to feel perhaps a little too deeply how much everything hurts a person who feels no pain. 

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This book was published by Harper Perennial in August 2010. For more information, visit the author’s website. Clicking on the IndieBound logo below will help support me, as an affiliate, and independent bookstores. That’s called good karma, people. Happy reading.

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FTC Disclosure: This review was based on a copy of the book that I received from the publisher.


One Response to “Book review: Numb by Sean Ferrell”

  1. Fran August 21, 2010 at 7:10 am #

    I once heard of a child who suffered from a condition that prevented all sensations of pain. As a toddler, the child somehow caused a pot of hot coffee to topple and spill, scalding the child’s face and arm. The child never cried. The mother told this story and warned “Never wish your child freedom from pain. Pain is life’s way of teaching us important lessons.”

    Numb sounds like a captivating read. I’ll add it to my list.

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