He hopes to live off the land and admits that he “does not require excessive social interaction.” He is brusque to citizens of the nearby town, he rejects his sister who visits him, and he makes it clear that he neither wants nor needs human company.
His renovation includes the cellar, which, for an unexplainable reason, terrifies him. He manages, however, to clear it out and all he saves are two books which have strangely escaped mold and mildew The Malleable Mind and Shaping Behavior.
Eric spends time rebuilding and hiking over his property. He attempts to climb a huge rock which he can never seem to reach, for when he enters his woods time seems to change. There are no animals except for a white deer who he feels is mentoring him somehow. When he finally does climb the rock he discovers the remains of something amazing. But, he realizes that it is on a small piece of land in the middle of his own acreage, land he doesn’t own.
From our own deductions we learn about the major dysfunction in Eric’s family and how he became a victim of it. As the plot gets more complicated, we must confront the belief that people, in this case military men, should be trained to submit completely to authority. In light of what Eric endured as a child and as a soldier, his pronouncement, “There is no comfort like the comfort of following orders. There is no relief like being relieved of agency.” seems truly horrifying.
Castle is riveting suspense literature. There are many more adverbs than adjectives. This is a book of actions, actions which seem fairly benign, while, at the same time, make us uneasy, until we are presented with the nightmare that is Eric’s life.
To learn more about this and other books, visit the Boulder City Library at 701 Adams Boulevard, 293-1281, www.bouldercitylibrary.org