The Illustrated Version of Things
by Affinity Konar
$17.95 List Price
The plucky unnamed street urchin who narrates Affinity Konar’s vivid and disturbing first novel, The Illustrated Version of Things, is seemingly sprung from a Carson McCullers novel. A high school version of Jodie Foster’s knock-kneed nymph in Taxi Driver, she possesses an almost beatific naïveté that is decidedly Dargeresque, despite being a survivor of the streets and the foster-care system and recently released from a mental hospital.
Konar’s novel is set in the realms of the wacky if not the unreal; it’s a weirdo adventure story in which the narrator is ostensibly searching for her mother, who has been mysteriously incarcerated. The book’s other characters, who, it seems, exist to abet her search or to act as alternate family members, are gothic grotesques—her mother’s former pimp; the narrator’s
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