Saturday, September 22, 2007

An Arsonist's Guide to Writers' Homes in New England

I'd like to think I picked this book up because of a great review I read, but really, it was the title that made me take it home. I read a lot of good reviews but a good title or a good book cover will push that book to the top every time. Arbitrary, I know. The arsonist in question is Sam Pulsifer, a self-described bumbler, who accidentally sets fire to the Emily Dickinson house, burning it to the ground and killing two people inside. He is sent to prison and released after ten years. He marries a nice woman and moves to the suburbs, but neglects to tell her about his past. When the son of the couple killed in the Dickinson fire shows up on his doorstep to confront him, Pulsifer's bumbling past catches up with him. Then, more famous writers' homes are set on fire and Sam must find out who is behind the fires before he is blamed. I found the book to be very funny and I enjoyed all the commentary on stories and literature and their importance in our lives.

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