Fallacy by Adam Whitaker
Fallacy follows the ups and downs in the life of Mortimer Bigsby and those around him. The title is apt in that the story deals with people’s misconceptions of each other and of their own lives and the chaos and occasional beauty that results from those fallacies. There’s a great deal of absurdity, much of it stemming from Mortimer himself, but the book also deals with some serious issues like faith, religion, and abortion.
It was actually the serious subjects that felt most out of place. As a reader I was quite ready to accept the ridiculous things that Mortimer and those around him did. What I had a harder time swallowing were the interjections of what felt directly like the Author’s opinion, not the character’s, about subjects like faith and abortion. It reminded me of War and Peace, when Tolstoy would break from the story and rant about Napoleon and history for a few pages. Unfortunately, in Fallacy, Whitaker remained in character when this happened and it felt incredibly out of sync with the rest of the story.
Where Whitaker succeeded most was in developing his characters. He is quite talented at painting a portrait of who a person is by describing the small things that make up their life. The intricacy of everyone’s relationships and how they change over time is deftly handled. Family gatherings stick out as fine points where characters we see only for a few pages become three-dimensional and you can empathise with them and maybe even pity them for the choices they made that led them to that point in their life.
Overall, I feel Fallacy is a good character study, but suffers from losing focus on that and side tracked by unrelated topics.