Ferris' career has grown long enough to where he's one of those authors that people either really like or really hate. I haven't read everything he's done, but a lot of it, and I like the dude's whole thing.

And that "whole thing" reaches peak form in A Calling for Charlie Barnes, a... autobiographical tale? Pure fiction? Autofiction?

Hard to know, hard to tell... but that's kind of the point of this rumination on the author's own life and the concept of truth in art.

Ostensibly, this is the story of the "author"'s father's life, an interesting dude who did a lot of shit. About a third of the way through the novel, you start to get the sense that all is not as it seems.

The rest of the ride basically has the reader questioning the nature of truth, as the narrator becomes increasingly unreliable.

The back fifth or so of the book is a real blowout of why the narrative developed as it did, a bit on what the author was trying to accomplish, and enough FUD to make the reader engagingly pissed off in trying to figure out what the real story was.

I think it's a successful experiment, honestly. I enjoyed the ride and the sludge of emotionally brutal denouement that accompanied the ending. And the book is largely set in the Chicago area and its hinterlands in northwest Illinois which, as a huge homer, I personally appreciated.

If you're already a fan of Ferris' whole thing and/or up for "biography of an interesting dude that gets real fuckin' weird", give A Calling for Charlie Barnes a go.