The narrator and his half-brothers are driving their father to Zurich for an assisted suicide, and pick over their family history on the wayby Houman Barekat / July 20, 2017 / Leave a comment
Published in August 2017 issue of Prospect Magazine
Let Go My Hand by Edward Docx (Picador, £16.99)
Edward Docx’s fourth novel is a road trip story with a difference. The narrator, Louis, and his twin half-brothers, are driving their motor neurone disease-afflicted father to Zurich for an assisted suicide. As well as dissecting the ethical dilemma at hand, the men pick over their family history: the dad was far from perfect, so the filial tenderness is punctuated with bitter reproaches.
Their journey towards mutual understanding is rendered with humour and emotional insight, but clichés abound. One of the half-brothers is a dedicated family man while the other is an inveterate bachelor, so there is a lengthy discussion on the relative merits of their lifestyles. The father, an erudite old-school intellectual with leftie leanings, complains about social media and is resistant to sat nav, whereas his sons are practically nihilists by comparison.