The Griefmaker


Fiction - Literary
248 Pages
Reviewed on 06/03/2022
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    Book Review

Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite

The Griefmaker is a work of fiction penned in the literary style which is in the interpersonal drama, social issues, and cultural issues subgenres. It is intended for the general adult reading audience and was penned by author George Gurley. Much in the style of the sweeping works of Cormac McCarthy or Ian McEwan, we take a philosophical look at American values and the struggle of what it is to be American via Gurley’s epic story. Set against the backdrop of rural Kansas, a pair of former high school friends live their lives divided from one another, but in a dangerous parallel of risk, conflict, and desire as they both vie for a plot of land, the titular Griefmaker.

I wasn’t sure what to make of this novel initially, but the gradual build-up of character and setting really does a great service in laying the foundation for a deep and meaningful drama. I enjoyed the different levels that author George Gurley operates on. On the one hand, Gurley delivers an intricate, character-based portrayal of two very specific men and their conflicts, struggles, fall from grace, and attempts to claw their lives back together, but on the wider plane, there’s an important message about the heavy price of progress brewing in the modern world. What results is an exceedingly well-penned, dramatic slow-burner of a tale that will have you truly gripped and deep in thought by its conclusion. Overall, I would highly recommend The Griefmaker to fans of literary fiction everywhere.