Numb by Sean Ferrell
Published by Harper Perennial, an imprint of Harper Collins
One afternoon after a sandstorm, a man walks out of the desert and into a circus. He’s wearing a bloody suit, with no memory and no feeling anywhere in his body. For lack of more information, everyone just calls him Numb. With his gift – or curse, depending on your point of view – of not feeling pain, Numb is an obvious match for the freakshow of the circus, piercing his hands with an awful lot of things. He’s relatively happy at the circus, until the manager of the circus decides to put him in a cage with the circus’ lion. At that point, Numb knows it is time to move on, and try to make his way in the world and discover what he can about his past.
What a charming, quirky story this is. I loved Numb, both the story and the character. Quite often when a character does have a real name – and very infrequently is he actually addressed as ‘Numb’ – it keeps me at a remove from them. I didn’t find this to be the case at all for Numb, however. He obviously wasn’t your typical guy, from his affliction to his dubious fame, but he had an everyman sort of feel regardless. What “Numb” was really about was identity: both finding out who you have been and figuring out who you want to be.
There is some some and language, but I think the themes and readability of “Numb” makes it great not just for adults, but for older teens as well. Recommended.
* These links are all affiliate links. If you buy your book here I’ll make a very small amount of money that goes towards hosting, giveaways, etc.