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Extra resources for The New York Review of Books (February 6 2014)
The plucky voice inflecting the narration is that of lonely, plump, preadolescent Robin Kendall, who, grabbing the coat, is going after the fellow. (“It was once a rescue. a true rescue, finally. ”) As Robin enters the woods, coat in hand, pursuer fingers third-person narration to pursued: bald-headed, fifty-three-year-old Donald Eber. being affected by an inoperable mind tumor, despairing of lifestyles, Eber has fled his medical institution deathbed to devote suicide by means of publicity. although Eber has a last resting position in brain (“cross-legged opposed to the boulder on the most sensible of the hill”), the ascent exhausts him and he reveals himself “wrapped fetally round [a] tree. ” This was once it. was once it? now not but. quickly, although. An hour? 40 mins? was once he doing this? rather? He used to be. was once he? could he manage to make it again to the auto whether he replaced his brain? He notion no longer. right here he was once. He used to be the following. This magnificent chance to finish issues with dignity used to be correct in his palms. All he needed to do was once remain placed. And but, he'll no longer be allowed even that much-diminished “all. ” be aware of the wonderful thing about the pond, the wonderful thing about the woods, the sweetness you're returning to, the wonder that's in every single place so far as you could— Oh, for shitsake. Oh, for crying out loud. a few child used to be at the pond. overweight child in white. With a gun. sporting Eber’s coat. inside of moments, Eber watches as “on the pond” turns into in : Robin—who takes a dangerous shortcut to arrive Eber extra swiftly—falls throughout the ice. confronted with a decision, Eber, coming near near loss of life, unearths he has no selection in any respect: He used to be on his manner down earlier than he knew he’d began. child within the pond, child within the pond , ran repetitively via his head.... unexpectedly he used to be now not merely the demise man who woke nights within the med mattress pondering, Make this now not actual make this now not real, yet back, in part, the man who used to place bananas within the freezer, then crack them at the counter and pour chocolate over the damaged chunks. Recalled to existence, Eber stumbles downhill to the pond. With huge, immense attempt (“It took 4 special pulls”) he drags Robin from the financial institution: the boy controlled to flail his approach to it earlier than passing out, face down, within the snow, legs nonetheless within the icy pond. “Kid was once in trouble,” Eber thinks. “Soaking rainy, ten levels. Doom. ” Eber went down on one knee and instructed the child in a grave fatherly means that he needed to wake up, needed to get relocating or he may perhaps lose his legs, he may well die. the child checked out Eber, blinked, stayed the place he used to be. He grabbed the child by means of the coat, rolled him over, approximately sat him up. The kid’s shivers made his shivers appear like not anything. child retaining a jackhammer. He needed to get the child warmed up. tips to do it? Hug him, lie on best of him? that might be like Popsicle-on-Popsicle. So Eber can’t do for Robin as Walter did for Patty whilst the husband “press[ed] as a lot of his floor as he may perhaps opposed to her marmoreally chilly epidermis. ” Eber has no human warmth to provide. really, after Eber crosses the risky ice of the pond to retrieve his personal coat that Robin carried yet dropped onto the ice as he fell via, he makes an attempt to dress the boy: It used to be just like the previous days, getting Tommy or Jodi prepared for mattress once they have been zonked.