“Perfume River”

Riveting and brilliant… After “Late City” I was looking forward to my second Robert Olen Butler – and “Perfume River” didn’t disappoint.

There were a number of things I liked about this book:

  • The way Butler seamlessly weaves flashback into the present, much as we do when we are thinking back to our own lives.
  • His ability to get inside the heads of his characters and generate authentic psychological profiles.
  • The remarkable depiction of the scars Vietnam etched on many Americans; and as a Brit, it was even more impressive that he could get some of that trauma, angst and pain across.
  • The fact that there were still multiple possible outcomes until the last few pages of the book. You knew that something was going to happen and broadly what it was, but couldn’t be sure who was going to be involved / impacted.

I already have my next Butler waiting to be read…