The Caretaker of Lorne Field: A Novel, is a book about old traditions coming up against modern day skepticism. It's a book about self sacrifice for the greater good of all mankind. It's a book about mass hysteria.
Or is it?
You'll be left until the final page wondering what is real and what is not.
Zeltserman's amazing novel, about a man that believes he's saving the world everyday by weeding an isolated farm field, easily topped my 'best of' list for novels I read in 2010.
This is a book that should be read and discussed in schools, it's that good. Despite it's modern day setting the novel had a very 1950's feel to it, focused as it is primarily around Jack Durkin, the protagonist (or antagonist?), a simple man who leads a hard life. He doesn't know a cell phone from a personal computer (the family can't afford either). He doesn't even understand the basics of a digital camera.
His job, his lot in life, is to clear Lorne Field of Aukowies, monstrous creatures, that if left untended would destroy the world in less than two weeks. Jack's biggest problem is that few folks are around anymore that believe in the Aukowies. Now the town council want to use the land for development purposes and his wife is tired of living a life of poverty (the town council only pays Durkin a measly eight thousand a year to clear the field). Very soon Durkin is facing the scorn and ridicule of an entire town, from the Sheriff to an enterprising young lawyer. Durkin's life begins to spiral out of control after his son has an 'accident' out at the field.
What follows is a masterful tale of dementia and paranoia, of hysteria and insanity. Or maybe not? Are the Aukowies real or is Durkin suffering the effects of brainwashing from previous generations?
I really can't recommend this book enough. If you are looking for a book to buy with all those bookstore gift cards, look no further than Zeltserman's THE CARETAKER OF LORNE FIELD.