The Plain Dealer
Sunday, December 02, 2007
The protagonist, Mr. Myrden, has just left prison, cleared by DNA tests of a murder for which he spent 14 years behind bars. His attempt to go back to his wife, children, friends, enemies and, simultaneously, his longing for a different and better life (aided by a compensatory state award of more than $1 million) constitute the bones of the plot.
"Inside" is an appealing, often dramatic, and ultimately tragic tale about class and agency.
Harvey, the Canadian author of 16 books, employs clipped, repetitive and fragmented sentences... The effect of his unorthodox prose is claustrophobic and unrelenting, carrying the ghost of years lost, a forced routine, confinement without deviation... This cadence... reveals, sometimes brilliantly, often heartbreakingly, Myrden's confusion and regret...
Harvey has achieved remarkable craft and character with this book... a gifted, inventive, courageous writer.