Saturday, October 18, 2014

Obedience by Will Lavender

Obedience: a novel, Will Lavender. New York: Shaye Areheart Books/ Crown Publishing/ Random House, 2008. paperback, 289 pps.

     Professor Williams teaches a college course called Logic and Reasoning 204 at Winchester University in Indiana. The fall semester is short-- six weeks-- and there are no pictures of the face of the professor to be found anywhere. Unlike other professors, he wears jeans and sneakers to class. He also says the f-bomb. The first class, like Professor Williams, is a mystery. He announces that a female by the name of Polly went missing in August. He says if the class cannot figure out who kidnapped her by the end of the six weeks, she will be killed.

     Mary is a student in the class as is an ex-boyfriend named Dennis. There is also Brian, a young Republican whose brother had recently suicided. They become a sort of trio as the six weeks wear on. The three students take a road trip.

sapphoq reviews says: Will Lavender has written a truly creepy book. Although the dialogue did not move fast enough for me at times, I read Obedience in one sitting. It was a story inside of a story. The plot intrigued me in spite of my misgivings about a six week fall semester and the Winchester students' obsession with finding out what an unknown professor looks like before the beginning of class. The Milgram experiment was rather sneaky I thought. The point of obedience to a higher authority regardless of the consequences to another human being felt a bit lost in the parade of characters. Even so, I do recommend it for adults only.

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