Calf: A Novel
An “unsettling, scary, and often brilliant” novel based on two of the most notorious crimes of the 1980s: “Sharp, twisted . . . this is a keeper” (Publishers Weekly, starred review).
The year was 1981. The US was entering a deep recession, the Soviet Union was an Evil Empire, and John Hinckley, Jr.’s assassination attempt on President Ronald Reagan shocked the nation. It was also the year author Andrea Kleine learned her close childhood friend had been violently murdered by her socialite mother, Leslie deVeau. Both events took place in Washington, DC. Hinckley and deVeau were both sent to St. Elizabeths hospital and declared guilty by reason of insanity. It was there that they met, and later became lovers.
These two real-life, and ultimately converging events inspired Kleine’s jaw-dropping, spine-tingling novel, Calf. Made up of dual narratives and told over the course of one year, Kleine’s account follows a fictionalized John Hinckley, Jr. as he stalks a young actress in the lead-up to the assassination attempt, and eleven-year-old Tammy, whose friend is murdered in her sleep.
Reading like a combination of Taxi Driver and Are You There God, It’s Me Margaret, this creepy, unsettling, and absolutely addictive novel is at once a penetrating character study, a meditation on the zeitgeist of the ’80s, and an unflinching depiction of violence, both intimate and sensational.
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LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - ozzer - LibraryThing
In CALF, Andrea Kleine uses a stream of consciousness narrative style to build suspense and show the similarities between true insanity and the more conventional teenage angst. She traces the ... Read full review
CALFUser Review - Kirkus
Performance artist Kleine debuts with the bleak intertwined tales of a fourth-grader murdered by her mother and a narcissistic loser who shoots the movie star he's been stalking.The novel was ... Read full review