National Public Radio named Gone Tomorrow by P.F. Kluge, a writer who is from Berkeley Heights, one of the best books of 2008. After finishing it in 2 days, I agree that it's a novel that will stay with you. Gone Tomorrow is about a professor, George Canaris, who hasn't submitted anything for publication in 30 years, ever since his first book became an instant classic (88th on a list of top 100 modern novels). Gone Tomorrow is one of those books that voracious readers will love, with references on almost every page to other books that you've either read or suddenly must read.
"The Beast" is the novel which the world expects will be Canaris' best yet, if it actually exists, and it's my favorite part of Gone Tomorrow. Canaris' parents fled Karlsbad after the Nazis annexed Sudetenland in 1938. The Beast seems to be a saga set in Karlsbad, with characters from Beethoven to the present, including one based on Canaris' cousin, who hid in the forests around Karlsbad rather than flee, as well as real-life actor Kurt Gerron, who performed in Karlsbad before being sent to Theresienstadt concentration camp and eventually dying at Auschwitz.
Janet Maslin of the New York Times Book Review really does a much better job at describing Gone Tomorrow than I can. She even quotes the lines in the book that I wanted to underline, had I not been reading the library's copy.
P.F. Kluge stopped by BHPL to introduce himself when he was in town for the Free Acres Bicentennial, and we arranged for him to come back on Thursday, September 30 at 7 p.m. for a reading of Eddie and the Cruisers (one of his first novels and "the book that spawned the movie") and his latest novel, A Call from Jersey. So get started on reading one of his books or watching one of his movies - and come by on the 30th with any questions that you may have, chat with the author and have some coffee, cookies & whatever else I can rustle up.