The Caretaker: A Novel

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When a well-known collector named Dr. Charles Morgan dies, the management of his estate, which comprises the museum housing his eclectic, personal collection of objects, is turned over to a caretaker who has long admired Morgan’s artistic philosophy. The museum is filled with an abundance of things that range from priceless to worthless, and the public’s interest is minimal at best. Still, the caretaker treats every object with reverence and sees his role as vital. His professionalism is a mask, however, for a complicated worldview rooted in both guilt and obsession. His intense devotion to Morgan morphs into a kind of physical and spiritual possession. Those who do visit the museum are shocked by what the caretaker asks of them.

With an unnamed narrator, lecture-like descriptions, and a story as quiet as the caretaker’s footsteps in the sacred rooms, The Caretaker is a novel that requires great attention and even greater patience. Yet there are real moments of tension in this slim volume, and the caretaker’s descent into obsession is both mesmerizing and horrifying to witness. Much like the objects in Morgan’s collection, The Caretaker defies easy categorization. Those readers who commit to the journey, to the accumulation of glance and detail, will be well rewarded.

Reviewed By:

Author Doon Arbus
Star Count 5/5
Format Hard
Page Count 144 pages
Publisher New Directions
Publish Date 2020-Sep-15
ISBN 9780811229494 Buy this Book
Issue January 2021
Category Popular Fiction


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