I’m delighted to report that David McConnell’s new novel The Silver Hearted is excellent. The Silver Hearted is a suspenseful adventure story that is clearly influenced by Robert Louis Stevenson, Joseph Conrad and Edgar Alan Poe. This unfortunately implies a pastiche. But Mr. McConnell has a style that is all his own. And it is at once minimal and lyrical.
As an example, let me quote this paragraph explaining how the novel’s narrator learned that he was broke:
My reaction wasn’t what I would have expected. I didn’t know what not having money was like. Over the next few days, I kept myself busy packing things in boxes (for no reason I could pinpoint) and drank heavily. This seemed like the natural continuation of the strange frustration I’d felt before. I was constantly changing my mind. I was going to call a friend, then I didn’t want to . I was going to find work in a museum, then I decided that was a bad idea. I ate in expensive restaurants. I had no care for the little money I had left. I slept badly. I’d never felt so powerless. I was happy.
Long before Tennessee William’s Blanche du Bois lost Belle Reve, Chekhov covered similar territory in The Cherry Orchard. But niether of them did so with this efficiency.
I’m reluctant to go into the plot of The Silver Hearted, because the plot is one of the key pleasures of this novel. Suffice it to say, it is a genuine page-turner. And let me also add that Mr. McConnell is particularly skillful at conveying a sense of doom–a gloomy foreboding–throughout the novel.
It’s worth noting that the homosexuality of the narrator is incidental to this tale. So while the main character is homosexual, the book isn’t really about his homosexuality. This just happens to be a first-rate adventure novel with a narrator who just happens to be gay. I strongly recommend this book.
David McConnell’s The Silver Hearted is published by Alyson.