In his fourth novel Peterson tells the story of Gideon Anderson, a young man alienated from his father and two brothers who have gone into the family business. Unlike them, he receives checks from his rich uncle every month. In exchange for the checks, the uncle asks Gideon to come up with a plan for his life, essentially a blueprint about how he intends to enter the job mIn his fourth novel Peterson tells the story of Gideon Anderson, a young man alienated from his father and two brothers who have gone into the family business. Unlike them, he receives checks from his rich uncle every month. In exchange for the checks, the uncle asks Gideon to come up with a plan for his life, essentially a blueprint about how he intends to enter the job market. Gideon, who went to a prestigious university, puts his uncle off and spends the money on alcohol, the horses, and a miscellany of useless purchases partly because he doesn’t know what to do, partly because he doesn’t want to do anything.Gideon then meets a lovely, ambitious woman, Claire, who encourages him to do better with his life and talent. She asks him to come to New York with her where her father can set him up in his firm or bankroll a business venture. Despite his good fortune in love and access to the steady cash-flow provided by his uncle, Gideon, like Melville’s character Bartleby the Scrivener “prefers not to” commit either to a career or to Claire. For ten years he just drifts. And then suddenly his uncle dies and Gideon has to make a decision. The novels of Joseph G. Peterson have run a literary gauntlet from searing prose to lyrical poetry; from noir style to full character-driven plots, and his work has drawn comparisons to Gertrude Stein and Ernest Hemingway. An incredible eye for detail and taut, lean prose are what readers have come to expect from a Peterson effort, and in this new book they will not be disappointed. Peterson delivers an emotionally engaging parable that will appeal not only to twenty-somethings unwilling or unable to commit and fit in, but also to adult readers who appreciate modern literary fiction and carefully crafted characters. ...
|Number of Pages||:||130 Pages|
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Gideon's Confession Reviews
There is always a chance for love, to get lost in its beauty and magic, and in the case of Gideon, there is also the chance that love may free him, and elevate him beyond the stuck, and whatever might yet be possible for him. More - http://bentanzer.blogspot.com/2014/05...
GIDEON'S CONFESSION is Peterson's most introspective book, which is a bit surprising considering it centers around a character that doesn't know what he wants, and furthermore, may not actually want anything but to drift through life, catch as catch can. In this slim novella, the reader gets to know its narrator, Gideon Anderson, as well as his friends, acquaintances, and passersby, pretty intimately. Despite Gideon's apparent apathy, the reader is treated to his ongoing, lifelong existential crisis: What's my purpose? What's my plan? And, what's more, what's the point of anything? These three ideas conflict and lead Gideon to a life of motivational paralysis. He's stuck, and he doesn't care. But he does! Or else the thoughts that fill the pages of this book wouldn't be occurring. In GIDEON'S CONFESSION we take a trip through the narrator's neuroses and complacency, and often times the thoughts he has about life and one's progress through it rang pretty damn familiar to me. In the end, like all of Peterson's books to date, this one's humanist--that is, it expresses and shows love for humanity through observation and simple lack of judgment. While Peterson can craft a poetic turn of phrase, there is a light-heartedness here that keeps the narrative from getting bogged down in the depressing reality of a life gone stale. Like Vonnegut, Peterson's affection for every single character in the book is tangible. And, like Vonnegut, there is no such thing as a "minor" character--everyone gets their say and their due. Also, like Vonnegut, there's no villain! Of course, unlike Vonnegut, Peterson never delves into science fiction, or fantasy, and often steers clear of political commentary. One of my favorite reads of the year so far, and one I can recommend to fans of Vonnegut and Saul Bellow, and perhaps also Cormac McCarthy and Denis Johnson.
Gideon is a self-absorbed young man ambling through life and capitalizing on the generosity of his benefactor, a rich uncle. As Gideon indulges his whims he struggles with the notion that someday the steady flow of money will undoubtedly cease to roll in; yet, he continues to squander the money and his life away. Gideon's lack of self esteem is an overall component in this refreshingly honest book. Author Joseph G. Peterson's expressive voice rings true in this novel in which realism and humor are flawlessly melded to create a symbiotic and resonating narrative.
Joseph G. Peterson, AB’88 AuthorFrom our pages, July–Aug/14: "Every month, Gideon, the protagonist of Joseph G. Peterson’s fourth novel, receives a generous check from his wealthy uncle. The only catch: the uncle wants to know what Gideon plans to do with his life—besides smoking, drinking, and gambling. But Gideon is at a loss. 'I’m an English major,' he says, 'not an inventor. I don’t have an entrepreneurial bone in my body.' He drifts listlessly through the streets of Chicago until he meets rich, beautiful, ambitious Claire, and everything changes. Or does it?"
Once again, my friend Joe Peterson tells a vivid, all-too-real story of an aimless, drifting young man who refuses to pull himself out of his rut, as everyone around him sees he must do to ever get anything out of his life. It's a testament to Joe's writing skill and compassion that the reader cares about and roots for the protagonist, who in lesser hands might have come across as exasperating and easy to dismiss.