by Sukey HowardMay, 2005
Prose by Prose
Francine Prose is extraordinarily savvy about our complex world, and her writer's radar picks up more than most. In her new novel, A Changed Man, performed with pitch-perfect deftness by Eric Conger, Prose takes on a hefty subject, but does it with a deceptively light touch. When Vincent, a young neo-Nazi (tattoos and all) presents himself to the dedicated folks at World Brotherhood Watch, a human-rights foundation headed by the wonderfully Elie Wiesel-esque Meyer Maslow, a Holocaust survivor with magnetic charm, and announces that he wants to help them "save guys like me from becoming guys like me," the PR-fund-raising wheels begin to spin wildly, while everyone hopes that Vincent won't spin out. To that very end, Bonnie, the hard-working development director, divorced and mother of two teenage boys, takes him into her suburban home. What unfolds is a clever, darkly funny, insightful anatomy of "doing good." Great characters, great story, great listen.