To say that Fred Busch's books kept getting better is a risky thing to say, because it seems he was always a fine writer. And DOMESTIC PARTICULARS seems print-proof of this. I've had the book on my shelf for over ten years and just now finally got around to reading it. As (Everybody Loves) Raymond's father would say, "Holy Crap!" this is a good book. Busch wrote the story - mostly about Mac and Claire Miller and their son, Harry - thirty-five years ago, but it all still rings so true. It's all about a few generations of an educated (and perhaps dysfunctional) Jewish family in NYC, from the 1930s well into the 1970s - call it "the Millers and how they grew." From the pre-war years thru the McCarthy era and into the radical 60s and beyond, Fred Busch more than ably conveys the flavor and feeling of those decades, making it all so personal and real in the particular and often tortured story of the Millers.
I think I was most surprised to see the origins in this novel of a later one, 1990's fine novel HARRY & CATHERINE, the very first Busch book I read. There are also early autobiographical intimations of essays from the 1998 book, A DANGEROUS PROFESSION. The essays in question were two of my favorites in that book: "My Father's War" and "The Floating Christmas Tree." The first is a meditation on a notebook Busch's father kept during his WWII combat experience; the second an essay on the early and near-penniless Greenwich Village days of Fred and Judy Busch's marriage, perhaps the closest Busch ever came to writing a memoir.
Bottom line, I loved DOMESTIC PARTICULARS. Thank God there are yet more Fred Busch books left to read. This guy was simply a master of his trade.
- Tim Bazzett, author of the memoir, BOOKLOVER