Life, Russell Banks’ first novel, he transforms the dramas of domesticity into
the story of a royal family in a mythical contemporary kingdom. Life inside
this kingdom includes the king (dubbed “the Hearty” or “the Bluff”), who
squeals angrily as is his wont; the queen, who, while pondering the mirror in
her chambers, decides to write a book; and three adolescent princes who are,
respectively, a superb wrestler, a fanatical sports car driver, and a sullen
are the mysterious Green Man with a thing for princes; the Loon, who lives in a
tree house designed by Christopher Wren; and a whole slew of murders, mayhem,
coups, debauches, world tours, and love and loss and laughter.
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