9 of 9
Lord Fear
240 pages; Pantheon
Lucas Mann's brother Josh died of a heroin overdose at age 30, while Lucas was only 13. Using memories and remnants of Josh's journals, Mann examines how those left behind make sense of someone lost, when all they have is what they remember. Using interviews with friends and acquaintances of his brother, Mann brings Josh back to life as the tortured kid on the bus; the promising future rock star, all sexual bravado and bluster; the kid driving his babysitter insane; the broken son; the revered sibling. These many versions of Josh collide in a portrait that, even in its fundamental incompletion, feels both moving and intimate. "I think he would have liked that, the meeting of fantasy and reality, captured, vivid, in moving strips of light," Mann writes. “It's flickering, fast, but I see him." It's rare to find a book that reads as if it were written out of necessity. This book is one; absorbing and with an undeniable current of truth.
— Julie Buntin