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Chris Blocker

Literary snobbery and other thoughts by Chris Blocker

Sweet Hereafter: A Novel

The Sweet Hereafter - Russell Banks The Sweet Hereafter is the story of a school bus accident which tears a small town apart. Told from the perspective of four different characters, the plot is interesting and the method Banks uses to propel the story is very effective.I struggled with the voices of the characters too much, however. The bus driver, the New York City lawyer, the owner of the service station, and the fourteen year-old victim--their stories are all told in a similar voice, a very professional one. And, as such, I didn't find them believable.Based on this story, Banks has a decent grasp on the art of fiction, but the whole thing falls apart when he tries to get into his character's voices. Unfortunately, this causes the whole work to unravel.