Note: A review copy of Inherited Disorders was provided to me free of charge by the publisher through the NetGalley system for an unbiased review.
Adam Sachs’ Inherited Disorders is build around a very simple idea–father and son relationships. The idea is simple, but the reality is anything but clear-cut.
In over one hundred different ways, Sachs examines the ways in which fathers and sons relate to one another–in terms of personality, genetics, and the idea of an “inheritance.” Some argue over their physical inheritance of wealth. Some struggle with legacy, either to carry it on or to ultimately fulfill it. In one instance, a father literally removes his skin for his son to wear.
Hilarious and undeniably original, Adam Sachs circles around the idea of father-son relationships again and again. Inherited Disorders was a quick and enjoyable read, but it can get a little repetitive. Of course, this is somewhat the point. In each story, I was looking forward to the twist that Sachs would put on the story. In my opinion, the most memorable instance occurs when a son talks to his father’s frozen head while asking a friend to read a screenplay that his father never approved of.
Sachs looks at the father-son dynamic in interesting ways, but I can’t help feel that I can relate to Inherited Disorders as a male reader. I would be interested to see how a female reader responds to the text. In some ways, mother-daughter relationships are no different, undeniably, but in terms of more “classic” expectations of what we can likely admit is a patriarchal society, these relationships can be quite different.
Needless to say, as a fan of unconventional literature, I’m looking forward to Sachs’ future work.