Hitting the Wall
Penguin, 140 pp, $11.99 pb
I have often found myself feeling a little frustrated after reading a David Foster novel. While never doubting his ability as a writer, the convolutions of his narrative have, more than once, overshadowed his undeniably fine prose. His latest book, Hitting the Wall, a collection of two novellas, allows us the opportunity to examine how Foster handles the more urgent needs of this much shorter form.
Hitting the Wall also allow us to see two different stages of Foster’s development as a writer. The first novella, ‘Eye of the Bull’, was written in 1986, while the second, ‘The Job’, is a much earlier work having been written in 1973 and having first appeared in Escape to Reality in I977. Both these novellas share similar concerns. Wilson, the central character of ‘Eye of the Bull’, is obsessed with running. In fact he spends most of the novella running, both physically and emotionally. Like a true addict, he believes that he can keep his addiction under control, whereas his addiction gradually overtakes him, and this will cost him his job, his health and eventually his family.