Elect Mr. Robinson for a Better World: A Novel
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Announcing a bold new American voice laced with pitch black humor and as taut as a victim on a rack, this spectacularly provocative debut novel is graceful, electric, a wickedly funny tale of a world made riotous by life's mysterious and sometimes violent accidents. A Harper'sserial.
everybody appreciated your expertise in this matter.” It was a good connection; Jerry sounded close. In fact Jerry did live nearby, in a sprawling Tudor eyesore at the corner of Osprey and Manatee. Sometimes, on walks at night, I would round the corner and look up to see Jerry’s ostentatious tile roof above faux-granite walls like theme-park castle embattlements; and I would always think of Jerry and Rita’s dead daughter, Linda. Jerry said, “Pete, the boys have worked out an arrangement and
there’s a potentially high-quality educational facility available at Freedom Field, with blacktop flooring and good northern exposure if you keep the door open and don’t mind the occasional flyover.” “Freedom Field? An airplane hangar?” “Pete, she’s twenty thousand square feet with forty-foot ceilings. Perfect for basketball or indoor tennis if you paint lines and string nets. Tell me, what sports do you tend to offer at the elementary level?” “Sports? Let’s see. Kickball, broomball,
I remained at my table. I hadn’t even chosen an animal. The visiting professor came over and said, “Excuse me, is she with you?” “Yes.” “In some societies, special individuals are selected to enter alternate states of consciousness and ritually explore the spirit realm. Most of the people in that conga line merely imagine themselves as animals, but she’s actually become her animal. I’ve seen it before. It’s rare. She’s a natural. She has a gift.” “Really?” “I’d like to spend time with her,
me Pete,” following her into the warm kitchen that smelled of a mixture of foods; smelled also, like everything in this house, of the children, just now visible through the screen door, out back naked and splashing each other in a small blue inflatable pool shaded by a tree bearing round fruit. Brad was blond and fat, Susy dark and thin. Their mother held a kettle beneath the faucet. “Unfortunately, my drain is clogged. You don’t know anything about clogged drains, do you, Pete?” “Hmn. Did you
over, got close and lay down beside her. I touched Meredith’s stomach and her shoulder and her hair. I raised her lemonade glass, slipped ice into my mouth, held it melting against tongue and teeth before passing it between my wife’s teeth, into her mouth, where, sucked by her, it dissolved. “Ah,” she said into my mouth. “Ah,” I breathed back. “Ah.” “Ah.” “Yeah.” “Yeah.” “Hmn?” “Yeah.” “How?” “Slow.” “Mn.” “Ah.” “Mn.” “Oh.” “Mn.” “Easy.” “Sorry.” “No. Good. Great. Just not yet.”