Tuesday, April 21, 2009


J. Robert Lennon is the author of four novels including Mailman and The Light of Falling Stars. His stories have appeared in McSweeney’s, the Paris Review, Granta, Harper’s, and the New Yorker.

He applied “Page 69 Test” to his latest novel, Castle, and reported the following:
Unfortunately, page 69 of my new novel, Castle, is very possibly the most boring page in the entire book. It consists of a pedantic, unforthcoming man musing about how uncontemplative he is, and taken in isolation would likely give you the impression that the novel is a pretty tepid brew.

In fact, the narrator has a mysterious past, which begins to emerge when he buys some land and finds the ruins of a castle on it. This discovery leads to a reluctant exploration of his former misdeeds, and by extension the collective psychic burden of recent American military excursions abroad, by way of a Jack-Londonesque wilderness-survival narrative. Page 69 is a transitional moment, when the narrator, who has previously revealed almost nothing of himself, begins to let his defenses slip. The result is a slowly unfolding psychological mystery, or at least that was my intent.

I have to urge your readers to start at the beginning--there's more going on than meets the eye!
Learn more about the book and author at J. Robert Lennon's website.

Check out the complete list of books in the Page 69 Test Series.

--Marshal Zeringue