THE ALIBI BREAKFAST by Larry Duberstein


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 Writer/husband/father Maurice Locksley faces a midlife crisis consisting of writer's block and marital uncertainty in this fourth novel and sequel, of sorts, to Duberstein's debut, The Marriage Hearse (1987). In the summer of his 48th year--``summer of my second death,'' as he calls it--Maurice has brought his two sons, Willie (from a previous marriage) and Ben (from the current one), to the family summer house in Pennsylvania's Pocono Mountains. His wife, Kim Orenburg (a.k.a. Kayo), also a writer, is spending a month in San Francisco having her screenplay--genteelly entitled ``Is it Natural to Fuck a Walrus?''--produced for public television. Meanwhile, daughter Sadie (also from a previous marriage) has just returned from Paris with new boyfriend Daniel in tow. Maurice, recovering from a monstrous bout with walking pneumonia, misses Kim, misses having a working space of his own, and is about to miss his book deadline. He suddenly decides to build a studio on the property-- his own version of Xanadu. Not one to repress an impulse, he enlists the boys straight away and begins the project without bothering to get the appropriate permits. Needless to say, Maurice ends up going head-to-head with the local building inspector, who happens also to be the local builder. And something else is clearly amiss: The daily calls from Kim have stopped, and she fails to arrive on the scheduled night. When she finally does get home, bearing news of an infidelity, the humbled Maurice retreats to Xanadu to sort it out. Eventually, he, Kim, and the kids all get back on track. An endearing portrait of modern family life from a husband/dad's perspective: Duberstein has created a warm, witty, and self-effacing male protagonist whose funny insights and quirky ways make him immensely appealing.

Pub Date: May 1st, 1995
ISBN: 1-877946-59-1
Page count: 240pp
Publisher: Permanent Press
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15th, 1995


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