Imagine Me Gone
By Adam Haslett (read by Robert Fass and Ellen Archer)
Adam Haslett’s first novel, Union Atlantic, depicted how a world in financial meltdown sweeps human lives away. While Imagine Me Gone doesn’t lose sight of social structures, the tone is more intimate, the balance between inner and outer worlds tipped in favour of interiority. It opens with the sad, lonely death of Michael, narrated by his brother Alec. The early chapters relive Michael’s precocious brilliance, his depression, and almost compulsive victimhood. We learn of his drug dependency and inexorable despair. This trajectory, the novel implies, was bequeathed him by his father, who after years of struggle, risk and living beyond his means, also takes his own life. This is a profoundly sad novel, and a profoundly moving one.