By Curtis White
Filled with many compelling, outrageous, and comic voices, White's novel is disturbing, charming, and biting. Curtis White's new novel begins with Mann's "unassuming young man," Hans Castorp, visiting his cousin at a health retreat. In this book, though, the retreat is a spa for recovering alcoholics, totally unlike all other rehab centres. Rather than encouraging their patients to free themselves from addiction, the directors of The Elixir believe that sobriety isn't for everyone, that you must let alcohol work its way on you. It is about a weird and unlikely world that, nevertheless, is quite recognisable as our own.
Curtis White is the author of the novels Memories of My Father Watching TV and Requiem. A widely acclaimed essayist, his work appears regularly in Context and Harper's.