Halibut on the Moon by David Vann
Kindle Edition, 272 pages
Expected publication: March 22nd 2019 by Grove Atlantic/Grove Press
About the Book:
Middle-aged and deeply depressed, Jim arrives in California from Alaska and surrenders himself to the care of his brother Gary, who intends to watch over him. Swinging unpredictably from manic highs to extreme lows, Jim wanders ghost-like through the remains of his old life attempting to find meaning in his tattered relationships with family and friends. As sessions with his therapist become increasingly combative and his connections to others seem ever more tenuous, Jim is propelled forward by his thoughts, which have the potential to lead him, despairingly, to his end. Halibut on the Moon is a searing exploration of a man held captive by the dark logic of depression and struggling mightily to wrench himself free. In vivid and haunting prose, Vann offers us an aching portrait of a mind in peril, searching desperately for some hope of redemption.
A storm in close, everything bending and blown. And when the wind accelerates, nothing is ready for that...but it all bends and comes back.
From the first sentence, I knew Halibut on the Moon would be an emotional read. Vann created a flawed character that readers cannot help but worry about. Every time I closed the book, my mind would wander and think about Jim. As the book progressed, I began to slowly turn the pages out of fear and dread about what was waiting around the corner. Vann honestly wrote about the messiness of bi-polar disorder.
I can’t be saved, there are too many hours alone. It just goes on and on and everything hurts. My whole body hurts.
The book starts strong, beautifully creating the backdrop for an unusual story that reflects perseverance of the soul more than anything else. The use of a main character with bi-polar disorder was unique and intriguing. Halibut on the Moon will grab your heart and keep you involved. You will feel deep emotion as the story unfolds and you will experience the stress of the players as the author vivdly describes their feelings.
Wouldn’t everyone be happy to be finished with Jim, including Jim ? We all want to be finished with Jim.
This is one of the most moving books I have read in a long, long time. It is painful and wonderful and awful, all at the same time. The story of a man with serious bi-polar disorder. It was so beautifully written, and the characters were so interesting I enjoyed every moment of the emotional journey. Jim's voice, even through his pain, made me think about love, sacrifice, death, and the meaning of it all and showed the strength, any person who deals with mental illness, needs to just live day by day. I was fascinated by the glimpses into bipolar disorder.
Time isn’t this thing you have to get through. It’s nothing. Just live your life.
What an incredible poignant book, Halibut on the Moon is a book that will make you laugh, cry and remain hopeful through the dark seasons of life. David Vann is a talented author with the gift of capturing the raw and real emotions of having mental health issues. I'm looking forward to reading more from this author.
Thank you NetGalley, Grove Atlantic/Grove Press and David Vann for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an impartial review; all opinions are my own.