One of the rarer pleasures that comes with reviewing works of fiction is happily losing one’s place, falling inadvertently into reading for personal pleasure and not as a proxy for potential readers. That’s what happened to me as I got into Caleb Crain’s debut novel, Necessary Errors—a bildungsroman, very well put together, polished, dry but tender, ferociously observed.… What gives Crain’s novel its appeal and force as a work of art? The question is worth asking, because certain qualities of the book stand counter to fashions prevailing in successful contemporary literary fiction.
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