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The Final Case

Best Seller
The Final Case by David Guterson
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Jan 11, 2022 | ISBN 9780593454893 | 448 Minutes

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  • Jan 11, 2022 | ISBN 9780525521327

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“A beautiful, heartfelt novel. Guterson’s tale swirls and loops and soars and digresses, gradually pulling you, like a vortex, closer and closer to eternal truths about death and life, hate and love. Especially love.”
—Daniel James Brown, author of #1 New York Times Best Seller The Boys in the Boat

“With empathy as deep as Puget Sound and his usual graceful prose, Guterson does a masterful job of showing a father facing his last big challenge in life and the son whose love of him is much more than filial duty. The Final Case is alive with all the contradictions of our moment, but more than that, it’s alive with wisdom that this novelist has earned.”
—Timothy Egan, author of National Book Award winner The Worst Hard Time

“David Guterson’s appropriately nameless main character in The Final Case is a fiction writer at the vortex of a life he can no longer see as linear, heroic, or containable by his old architectures. In this ‘final case,’ all of history is on trial, and his character finds himself a witness in the still and silent eye of disturbances now cyclonic in force and scope. Guterson is at his best here when capturing the wildly various judgments of our moment. His ranters run the gamut, from fundamentalist conspiracy theorists to socialist decolonialists; he captures with equal accuracy the painful double-bind of being a young white liberal male, and the pathos of mortal decline. At the heart of the story lies the moral complexity of what constitutes salvation. Guterson’s characters, powerless to deter, correct, or forgive one another, can only denounce and punish. But his witness, the writer, makes no easy sense of the crimes he encounters, and is capable of only the most tenuous conclusions. Nothing could be more humane, or timely.
—Karen Fisher, author of A Sudden Country

“I read The Final Case in a single sitting, spellbound by David Guterson’s exploration of a tragic death caused by the kind of religious fanaticism that has long plagued our human species. Yet he balances this horrifying perversion of spirituality with the portrait of a lawyer, nearing death, who in the true meaning of heroism, knows that his daily devotion to the rule of law, reason, and civilized values is all that we have—as problematic as these principles can be—to hold back the irrational, ever-present darkness in the human soul. Long after you have finished reading this life-affirming novel, the timeless issues it raises will linger in your mind.”
Charles Johnson, author of National Book Award winner
Middle Passage

“[An] outstanding literary thriller . . . Equal parts philosophical, humane, and self-deprecating, it powerfully speaks to the ineffable contradiction of living a meaningful life. Guterson sensitively explores religion, white privilege, and justice while examining with realism and empathy the bond between parents and their children. With its simple message of hope, this novel will linger with readers long after the final page.”
Publishers Weekly

“A bestselling author explores art, justice, and grief as he questions what makes a story true . . . [Guterson] subverts expectations over and over again . . . Needfully discomfiting.”
Kirkus Reviews (starred)

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