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" Lamb "is a masterful exploration of the dynamics of love and dependency that challenges the boundaries between adolescence and adulthood, confronts preconceived notions about conventional morality, and exposes mankind's eroded relationship with nature.
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2011-06-20
- Reviewer: Staff
Lolita gets a 21st-century spin in this gripping debut. Unlike Humbert Humbert, David Lamb is not obsessed with underage girls but stumbles across one. David's wife has left him, his father has died, and his work life is in shambles when outside a strip mall he meets a seventh-grade girl, "a pale little freckled pig with eyelashes" named Tommie, whom he entices into a pretend kidnap game "to scare" her friends. What he does once he gets her in his car is drive her home, but he also continues to meet her and give her rides to school. Their friendship intensifies, leading to a road trip, "Just a little secret trip in your secret life," from Chicago to an abandoned family house of David's in rural Colorado. There they hole up and eat beans, eggs, and junk food while Tommie's mother has no idea where she is. What David promises the 11-year-old is a fantasy, and he comes across as a father figure, a friend, but at times something far more creepy. With Colorado neighbors snooping, the questions become, how far will this go and what will happen if anyone finds out? Nadzam has a crisp, fluid writing style, and her dialogue is reminiscent of Sam Shepard's. The book suffers from the inevitable Nabokov comparison, but it's a fine first effort: storytelling as accomplished as it is unsettling. (Sept.)