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Ed King by David Guterson
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Ed King (2011)

by David Guterson

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2101184,313 (3.02)10

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» See also 10 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 11 (next | show all)
Had moments but disappointing overall. ( )
  amuskopf | Jun 7, 2018 |
Excellent and fun book! I'm not giving anything away by saying it is a modern-day telling of Oedipus. But Guterson kept me intrigued by his characters at every turn of the page. ( )
  Phyllis.Mann | Jul 13, 2015 |
I am weary of the bleak portraits of Seattle that every author from the area paints. Having finished Guterson's "The Other" which I loved because of its depth, I had high hopes for "Ed King". Instead, it was back to the bleak portraiture of the northwest, imbued with negativity from the characters.

One of my peeves is that while some authors paint a vivid portrait of place, Guterson names places but never gives the locations character or roundness. Like every other cliche northwest portrait, the focus is the weather. Grey, dark, bleak and rainy. Seattle has that but it also has spectacular sunny days July through October with a bright technicolor landscape from which to draw. He also names neighborhoods without ever drawing out the character of those neighborhoods.

Of course everyone who lives here is a techie. That's old, boring and cliche. Only a few from here are homegrown techies. Most of the geeks come from outside of Washington State to work in the tech industry. Washingtonians have deeper and richer histories than Microsoft. That is lost in this book which starts in 1962 and fails to pull out the real history of the city.

The characters are also cynical and each has an air of sleaziness or criminality attached to them. For that to be effective or make you want to have empathy or even care a little about the characters there has to be some redeeming quality.

Given the importance of Walter, he is never fully rounded and I felt nothing on his demise. Diane was an out an out con artist and again, I felt nothing for her. Simon isn't drawn well and it became confusing during Ed's teenage years as to how old he actually was - at first he seemed like he was about 18 or 19 and suddenly he's back to 16 or 17 and a high school junior. He moved from 19 to 27 in less than a chapter and it didn't feel like those formative years were filled with experiences beyond sex.

While the book is meant to evoke thoughts of Oedipus and Electra, the incessant descriptions of sex got boring quickly without evoking the above mentioned real stories about the agonies of those loves and the soul searching. I know he can write soul searching because I really felt that in "The Other." This time, the souls were empty.

I will pass my copy on to others who are interested in the author but I won't recommend it - I will be interested to see what conclusions those avid readers and fans of the author draw from it. ( )
  ozzieslim | Dec 28, 2014 |
Not well written or likeable ( )
  steoff51 | Aug 9, 2012 |
Modern reworking of the Oedipus story. ( )
  herschelian | Jul 29, 2012 |
Showing 1-5 of 11 (next | show all)
..before Ed King burns out, it's fiendishly entertaining. .. Unfortunately, Guterson decides to go for the sweeping epic thing, which happens to be the book’s downfall.
added by WeeklyAlibi | editWeekly Alibi, Sam Adams (Jan 19, 2012)
 
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0307271064, Hardcover)

A sweeping, propulsive, darkly humorous new novel by the best-selling author of Snow Falling on Cedars: a story of destiny, desire, and destruction that reimagines Sophocles’s Oedipus Rex for our own era.
 
In Seattle in 1962, Walter Cousins, a mild-mannered actuary—“a guy who weighs risk for a living”—takes a risk of his own, and makes the biggest error of his life. He sleeps with Diane Burroughs, the sexy, not-quite-legal British au pair who’s taking care of his children for the summer. Diane gets pregnant and leaves their baby on a doorstep, but not before turning the tables on Walter and setting in motion a tragedy of epic proportions. Their orphaned child, adopted by an adoring family and named Edward Aaron King, grows up to become a billionaire Internet tycoon and an international celebrity—the “King of Search”—who unknowingly, but inexorably, hurtles through life toward a fate he may have no power to shape.
 
An instant classic—David Guterson’s most daring and dazzling novel yet—that brings a contemporary urgency to one of the greatest stories of all time.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:13:23 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

Left on a doorstep after his illegal au pair mother exacts a brutal revenge on his father, Edward is raised by an adoring family and grows up to become a famous billionaire Internet tycoon who hurtles toward a fate that he is powerless to control.

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