The Reconstructionist

The Reconstructionist At a loose end after college Ellis Barstow drifts back to his home town and a strange profession reconstructing fatal traffic accidents He seems to take to the work immediately and forms a bond wit

  • Title: The Reconstructionist
  • Author: Nick Arvin
  • ISBN: 9780061995163
  • Page: 234
  • Format: Paperback
  • At a loose end after college, Ellis Barstow drifts back to his home town and a strange profession reconstructing fatal traffic accidents He seems to take to the work immediately , and forms a bond with his boss and mentor, John Boggs, an intriguing character of few but telling words.Yet Ellis is harbouring a secret He was drawn to the reconstructionist s grisly world byAt a loose end after college, Ellis Barstow drifts back to his home town and a strange profession reconstructing fatal traffic accidents He seems to take to the work immediately , and forms a bond with his boss and mentor, John Boggs, an intriguing character of few but telling words.Yet Ellis is harbouring a secret He was drawn to the reconstructionist s grisly world by the fatal crash that killed his half brother Christopher and that still haunts him in fact his life has been shaped by car accidents Boggs, in his exacting way, would argue that accident is not the right word, that if two cars meeting at an intersection can be called an accident then anything can where we live, what we do, even who we fall in love with.For Ellis these things are certainly no accident And he harbours a second, dangerous secret, one that threatens to blow apart the men s lives and which, as the story s quiet momentum builds, leads to a desperate race towards confrontation, reconciliation and survival.

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      Published :2019-01-20T16:17:23+00:00

    1 thought on “The Reconstructionist”

    1. THE RECONSTRUCTIONIST by Nick Arvin is an engineer’s thoughtful unfolding of the mundane: through the author’s insight and remarkable attention to detail, the story makes the ordinary extraordinary.In a word, it’s a novel about accidents–an examination of choices the average reader takes for granted.After this story, a car will never look the same to me. As Boggs teaches the young Ellis Barstow how to reconstruct automobile accidents with an engineer's methodical calculations, the reader [...]

    2. "The Reconstructionist" is a stunning novel that lives in the uncomfortable world of automobile accidents. It is also, through Arvin’s sharp eye, a beautiful piece.The Reconstructionist focuses on two men—one mentor, one student—whose job it is to understand, analyze and draw conclusions about how accidents happened. It also focuses on a woman who is married to the mentor and who was involved in a car accident that was a formative event in the early life of the student. But we don’t know [...]

    3. Weird science, mystery and a semi-demented road trip. Great read!I have been looking forward to Nick Arvin's next novel ever since reading his first, the excellent ARTICLES OF WAR (2005). And THE RECONSTRUCTIONIST did not disappoint me. Far from it. In fact I found Arvin's second novel to be an absolutely riveting page-turner, well worth the wait.Arvin's second novel might be considered by some to be a difficult book to categorize, dealing as it does with a pair of forensic engineers, or "recons [...]

    4. Ellis Barstow’s life is defined by accidents. Boggs, his boss, believes that accidents are inevitable meaning nothing is an accident. What brought them together could be proof. When Ellis was a teenager his half-brother Christopher died in a car accident. After college, Ellis drifted from jobs until he sees Christopher’s girlfriend at the time of the accident, Heather. She is married to Boggs and through her he got a job as a Reconstructionist.I wasn’t sure what to expect from the Reconstr [...]

    5. Ellis's life is all about accidents. He works as a forensic reconstructionist, examining the engineering of auto accidents. It's analytical and straight forward, the numbers tell the tale. But there are other accidents in his life that he just doesn't have the equations for, and they haunt him. It began with his half-brother's death in a fiery crash that he witnessed, and then an accident of his own, and the "accident" of falling into an affair with his bosses wife. After his boss finds out abou [...]

    6. This book worked for me on a lot of different levels. It presented a fascinating picture of an obscure (at least to me) but interesting profession, it presented a puzzle that needed to be solved, and like all good books solved some things and not others, it involved a series of emotional complexities being worked out between interrelated characters, and it explored the mind of a character trying to work his way through the muddle of his past and present. All these things working together in harm [...]

    7. This is a novel that will stealthilywalk into your consciousnesswithout giving away the underlying messages.You'll have to dig a little forthe treasures, and thehunt is well worth it!Summary:One instant can change an entire lifetime. As a boy, Ellis Barstow heard the sound of the collision that killed Christopher, his older half brother—an accident that would haunt him for years. A decade later, searching for purpose after college, Ellis takes a job as a forensic reconstructionist, investig [...]

    8. Very odd book, in a good way, occupying a delicate space in between The Odyssey and Warm Leatherette. It was on the chilly side but I appreciated the way form followed function there, and thought it was written exactly right for the tale of an automobile accident reconstructionist on the road in search of a number of things: his boss, whose wife he's sleeping with, the memory of his brother, killed in a car crash many years ago, and himself -- which makes it a kind of existential tale as well. I [...]

    9. I found the writing strong and descriptive, but lacking a fluid flow in sections. A very different subject matter that I found interesting. I don't think this book would be for the mainstream, but I enjoyed it.

    10. "either everything is an accident or nothing is." / "we're always causing what happens next." / "'John patronizes me because he decided that he's smarter than I am. That makes me pitiable. He's interested in your because he hasn't decided yet if he's smarter than you.'" /"i'm not very creative or interesting. i'm not very smart. i don't have confidence. i don't know what i want. should i go on?" /i love John Boggs in a way that i might actually hate him. i imagine him as a sexy older english tea [...]

    11. The Reconstructionist follows the main character, Ellis, who is a bit lost after graduating college as an engineer. His half-brother died when he was younger in a car accident close to their home and Ellis heard the accident. Hearing accidents was commonplace where they lived; however, when Ellis went to the accident scene, as he often did after hearing one, he realized it involved his brother and his brother’s girlfriend who he had a secret crush on. Many years later, Ellis runs into his brot [...]

    12. Good novel Overall, I liked the book. It's a little meandering, especially when Ellis is chasing Biggs. I skimmed some of those parts, but the theme of the book resonated with me.

    13. The Intersection of Science And EmotionNick Arvin proved to us in his initial novel ARTICLES OF WAR that he is not only a keen observer and sensitive interpreter of those moments in life and death, but that he has an uncanny ability to take those observations and weave them into a mesmerizing story. One aspect of reading and getting to know Nick Arvin is discovering how open he is with his talent. In this new book THE RECONSTRUCTIONIST he shares at book's end three 'accidents' that awakened in h [...]

    14. Since I find the television show 'Crash Investigation Unit' fascinating, I was intrigued by the premise of The Reconstructionist. Reconstructing the cause of an accident is not too difficult, with hindsight. Clues litter the road's surface, vehicles bear scars, bodies too, and precise measurements can create a neat, bloodless computer simulation that shows exactly what went wrong. Ellis Barstow works as a forensic reconstructionist, determining the sequence of events that end with a vehicular fa [...]

    15. Ellis Barstow works as a reconstructionist and together with his boss John Boggs, they travel to fatal-accidents sites. They also research cars that have been involved in those accidents and reconstruct what most likely happened during the accident.Ellis is obsessed with Heather, Boggs wife, who was his brother’s girlfriend when they were teenagers. His brother, Christopher, had an accident in which he died, while Heather was burned in her face.Ellis is in a difficult situation: John Boggs is [...]

    16. As a child, Ellis Barstow and his older half-brother, Christopher, were obsessed with car accidents, which happened frequently near their house. Christopher's death in a car accident while he is in high school puts Ellis on an aimless course; although he gets a college degree in engineering, he drifts from one meaningless and unsatisfactory job to another. After a chance encounter with Heather, Christopher's old girlfriend, who tried to rescue him from the crash, Ellis goes to work for Heather's [...]

    17. Ellis Barstow is an engineering graduate who still hasn’t found his métier, until a chance encounter with Heather Gibson, his half-brother Christopher’s ex-girlfriend, leads to Ellis taking a job with Heather’s husband, John Boggs, in the forensic reconstruction of traffic accidents. The relationship between Ellis and Boggs is as much one of friends as one of boss and employee; but Ellis is conducting an affair with Heather – and, when Boggs finds out, he storms off on a tour of crash s [...]

    18. There probably aren't very many people that can create a story dealing with the minutia involved with vehicle accident reconstruction and make it interesting. Thankfully Nick Arvin is an author that can take the mundane and often gruesome details of vehicle accident reconstruction and weave it deftly around the life of one man, Ellis Barstow.Ellis, and his boss, John Boggs, travel around the country reconstructing motor vehicle accidents. It seems as if Ellis believes that by reconstructing othe [...]

    19. I enjoyed the start of this book. The initial entry to the characters and the work of forensically examining car accidents was well written, interesting and intriguing as well as absurd. The writing is poetic and the use of car accidents as a existential device was clever, but the effect this had on me was to hold me at arms length from the characters, and as there are only really three this narrowed the book considerably as it went on. Even before the crisis that is engineered by one of the cha [...]

    20. When my wife recommended The Reconstructionist to me, she thought I would enjoy it because I have an engineering background. The main characters of the story are engineers, an unusual sort that reconstruct traffic accidents after the fact to help determine who is at fault. So, I can understand why she would have thought that would be interesting to me.But the story isn't really about accident reconstruction, although some accidents to get reconstructed. No, the story is really about the relation [...]

    21. In a story of love, lust, hate and miscommunication Ellis Barstow is muddled. He loves his dead brother’s girlfriend (who also happens to be his boss’ wife). Always has but might not always will. Heather was nice to his when no one else was when he was young and his teenage crush has developed into full blown – something close to obsession.Boggs hires Ellis to help him reconstruct vehicle accidents. Their work usually wins lawsuits for their clients; but are they always right? It’s the r [...]

    22. The Reconstructionist by Nick Arvin – You might remember Arvin’s debut novel Articles of War, which won the Colorado Book Award and was the One Book One Denver choice. The Reconstructionist is as finely written as his first novel. He has a spare way of writing, making each word necessary to the story. His writing is exquisite. In the new novel, the character, Ellis, as a boy hears the fatal car accident which kills his older half-brother. This changes his life. Years later, after college Ell [...]

    23. Despite the book liner's notes, I expected this story to be a CSI-type of crime solving novel, with the characters reconstructing traffic accidents to solve how they happened. While that does happen, the forensic engineering provides only the frame for the story of the unraveling of the two engineers' lives. Arvin is a craftsman of words; his choice of phrasing is often surprising and evocatively descriptive. The story is somewhat disturbing but engrossing, taking unexpected turns and revealing [...]

    24. Arvin uses his professional knowledge to give exacting details to an area of work with which I was unfamiliar: that of an accident reconstructionist. Those experts use measurements, photography, and physics to determine at what rate of speed vehicles were going when they hit each other or a tree. The psychological factors that set the story in motion were less successful than the investigations that were part of the journey. I sensed from the beginning where the book was in all likelihood going [...]

    25. I'm not really sure what to write for this review. I learned about this book from the magazine Mental Floss. For some reason I added it to my list of books to read. I began reading it, thinking it would be a cool book about traffic accidents and the science of determining cause and effect. I was hooked when the book began to take a freaky left turn, bordering on Stephen King-ish type fiction. Wow. And then I had to finish it, to try to figure out what the point to the whole story is. I'm not ent [...]

    26. A fine book for readers who appreciate new beginnings. What gives this book character, is that the heroes are engineers. They study the minutia of fatal automobile crashes in order to provide expert court testimony. The career choice heightens an awareness of their own mortality, which fuels passions that they long for in their private lives. However, once unleashed, neither has the coping skills or even a formula to apply to the surging emotions, which inevitably overwhelm and engulf their live [...]

    27. Originally posted at Fancy Terrible:This one has gotten a lot of good reviews. But me no likey. Actually, the first part wasn’t bad — Ellis, our protagonist, is a tad adrift until someone from his past (okay, his dead brother’s old girlfriend Heather) pushes him toward her husband, Boggs, and BAM! A new career as a reconstructionist. I found the work pretty interesting; Boggs and Ellis are hired by attorneys to essentially recreate accidents to find out how they actually occurred. The book [...]

    28. Ellis Barstow is a forensic reconstructionist; trying to figure what causes automobile accidents. He works with John Boggs as they investigates and discuss crash sites. Boggs is married to Heather (who had introduced Ellis to Boggs) and is also the ex-girlfriend of Ellis’ brother Christopher who died in a car crash when Ellis was young (and still haunts him). And Ellis had a boyhood crush on Heather. Things begin to heat up between the two.This character driven story is detailed when it comes [...]

    29. What a cool concept. It feels like something Palahniuk might've come up with in the Lullaby or Rant days. Unfortunately, it doesn't really take flight. It isn't bad, by any means, but it's just not altogether gripping or interesting. The beginning of the book is terrific, though, and that was enough to sustain the rest of the book at a 'meh' level. It isn't good, it isn't bad. It's just a book that exists with a concept that doesn't quite match the execution. I surprisingly had a lot more to say [...]

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