By Wallace Stegner
Joe Allston, the retired literary agent of Stegner's nationwide publication Award-winning novel, The Spectator chicken, returns during this disquieting and keenly saw novel. Scarred via the mindless dying in their son and baffled through the engulfing chaos of the Nineteen Sixties, Allston and his spouse, Ruth, have left the coast for a California retreat. And even if their new domestic appears like Eden, it additionally has serpents: Jim Peck, a messianic exponent of gear, yoga, and intercourse; and Marian Catlin, an enticing younger lady whose otherworldly innocence is way extra appealing—and way more risky.
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Extra info for All the Little Live Things (Contemporary American Fiction)
3 I had thought I could make Jim Peck up out of the odds and ends of intellectual faddism and emotional anarchy and blind foolishness that have been improving our world for the last ten years, but in one way he surprised me. If all the idiocies of the later twentieth century had collected in his skull like DDT in the livers of birds and fishes, I shortly had to grant that something else had collected in him too. For one thing, he was physically tough. He had none of that affectation of ill-health and that contempt for strength and well-being that I was used to among the literary intellectuals.
I said to myself, Don’t let this punk get your goat, that’s what he wants. So I waited, and he waited, a hairy grotesque, gleaming with teeth and eyes. In a minute I started us walking again, and then he goosed the motor to pull even, and shut it off. ” I said. “... ” A favor. But as insolently as possible, to remove any taint of servility or inferiority. He said it as he might have said—and I was sure would have said if he had spoken his full mind—Fuck you, you old fart. And where did that antagonism come from?
It seems so lonely for him,” Ruth said. ” I looked at her long and hard. ” It is not often I can fluster her, but she was flustered. ” She flared up. “Well, why not? ” “It isn’t like you to be sentimental, for God’s sake,” I said. “Are you kidding yourself that he sits down there missing the comforts of home? ” “He’s young,” she said resentfully. ” “Young yes, human hardly,” I said. ” “No,” I said. “I wouldn’t sit next to him at table. ” Probably he wouldn’t have come, and almost certainly we would have had a hell of a time enjoying his company.
All the Little Live Things (Contemporary American Fiction) by Wallace Stegner