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Absolute Convergence by John Yager

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I just stumbled onto this novel the other day in Nifty's "Relationships" section, and was initially turned-off by the fact that it has damn near 100 chapters. Usually, that's the kiss of death for me.

Much to my surprise, this is a remarkable little story. Don't get me wrong; I wouldn't necessarily consider it a brilliant literary triumph, but the author manages to avoid all the usual problems that make me crazy. Each chapter moves the story along at a brisk pace, and it held my interest throughout.

The story is deceptively simple: a high school senior falls in love with his best friend, but the friend opts to marry his longtime girlfriend instead. The senior goes off to college, plays football, has a series of relationships (some brief, some emotionally intense), and ultimately graduates and moves to California. The story is fairly sweeping, moving across 20 years from the late 1960s to the late 1980s.

Religion, monogomy, morality, and romance all figure very prominantly in the story. Unlike most so-called "serials," this one actually has some fairly real drama in almost every chapter. While the sexual content is fairly high, this isn't done at the expense of the story.

About my only criticism is that the author has a fairly economical style -- no frilly prose, not much of an attempt to create mood with description and so on. But I was struck by how honest the story felt, and how real the characters acted. In particular, the characters are often fairly complex, wrestling with the all-too-human problems we've all experienced.

I'd recommend this one very highly.

And a postscript: I discovered much to my chagrin that it was already in BEST OF NIFTY. And very deservedly so. The author shows remarkable progress, particularly by chapter 57 or so.

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  • 3 years later...

I read that one too; just finished it actually. It had enough of the things that keep the reader on the hook. And a hook it is not; because it's interesting and full of all the things necessary to pique the reader's interest, draw him in and keep his attention. As with so many of the net stories, you have to give it a few chapters to allow it to 'gear up'. And so it does. It's a keeper; one I bookmarked and will read again at some point in time.

This one lives up to the BoNN!

All The Best,

Pee Jay

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