Ed King by David Guterson is a deliciously clever and brilliant page-turner that impressed me with its sheer audaciousness. Guterson is a superb storyteller who will hook you almost from the start and deliver surprise after surprise as his characters head for disaster.
As much as I enjoyed Guterson’s quiet and lovely first novel ‘Snow Falling on Cedars,’ I loved Ed King much more. And yet, none of Guterson’s characters are even slightly likeable. They behave badly — really really badly, but they are fascinating.
There is Walter Cousins who has an affair with a 15 year old British ‘au pair,’ Diane Boroughs, who cares for his two young children for a few months while Walter’s wife is in a mental hospital. Diane gets pregnant and leaves the baby on a doorstep. Walter keeps the baby a secret. The abandoned baby is adopted by a loving Jewish couple, Alice and Dan King who name the baby Ed. Ed grows up and becomes an internet billionaire and along the way, the lives of these fascinating characters intersect in unimaginable ways.
Ed King is a brilliantly crafted novel, a perfect beach read, entertaining, but also highly literate. Read it when you have some time on your hands. Once I started reading, I couldn’t put the book down. I’m giving five bright and shiny gold stars for Ed King!