A piquant and fun romp that recounts the misadventures of a beer drinker who proves to be as insightful as he is amusing.

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A 20-something Missouri man with a penchant for swilling beer on his lounger experiences an epiphany that turns his life around in this fictionalized memoir.

Selraybob peaks when he plays left tackle for the Waketon champion high school football team. Years later, his wife, Joalene, reads him the riot act, walks out the door, and leaves him sitting in his lounger drinking three quarts of beer a day, reminiscing about those glory high school days. Does he indulge in self-pity as he watches her stride away? Of course not. Instead, Sel (as his friends call him) sees two clocks that differ in time by seven minutes, and this observation becomes the inspiration that drives him from his lounger to reclaim his broken life (“What I decided was this: all we’ve been doing when we tell time, since we started telling time, is counting things. That’s it. We’ve been counting”). That may not seem like much, but to Sel this reflection leads him to obsessively read up on time and to formulate his own intriguing theory, which comprises an Everyman’s argument against the ideas of Einstein and Stephen Hawking and all the sophisticated and complex concepts of modern physics. “Time is a Count,” Sel surmises. In this funny, wise, and poignant account, the author, also named Selraybob (There Is No Now, 2011), deftly describes the protagonist’s bracing journey and captivating cohorts. With the help of his best buddy, Herm, Sel fixes up his old, beloved, broken-down car (“She was still beautiful. Sleek and red. A Corvair. But not just any Corvair….This was a 1964 Monza Convertible. Rear engine. Long, straight lines. Not curvy but not boxy. Lean. And misunderstood. She was called dangerous back in the day”). He wants to hot-rod around town and keep an eye on Joalene; he thinks she is having an affair with Reggie, Herm’s brother, the star quarterback Sel protected back in his football days. As Sel embarks on rollicking escapades while skillfully unraveling the mystery of time, Herm’s beautiful wife gives him some much-needed backup. Written in a distinctive, plain style that calls to mind Mark Twain, this book should touch and entertain readers with its self-deprecating humor and deep perceptions that penetrate to the root of the Midwest American male character.

A piquant and fun romp that recounts the misadventures of a beer drinker who proves to be as insightful as he is amusing.

Pub Date: July 1, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-9846156-6-7

Page Count: 210

Publisher: Cur Dog Press

Review Posted Online: June 9, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2018

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A first novel, this is also a first person account of Scout's (Jean Louise) recall of the years that led to the ending of a mystery, the breaking of her brother Jem's elbow, the death of her father's enemy — and the close of childhood years. A widower, Atticus raises his children with legal dispassion and paternal intelligence, and is ably abetted by Calpurnia, the colored cook, while the Alabama town of Maycomb, in the 1930's, remains aloof to their divergence from its tribal patterns. Scout and Jem, with their summer-time companion, Dill, find their paths free from interference — but not from dangers; their curiosity about the imprisoned Boo, whose miserable past is incorporated in their play, results in a tentative friendliness; their fears of Atticus' lack of distinction is dissipated when he shoots a mad dog; his defense of a Negro accused of raping a white girl, Mayella Ewell, is followed with avid interest and turns the rabble whites against him. Scout is the means of averting an attack on Atticus but when he loses the case it is Boo who saves Jem and Scout by killing Mayella's father when he attempts to murder them. The shadows of a beginning for black-white understanding, the persistent fight that Scout carries on against school, Jem's emergence into adulthood, Calpurnia's quiet power, and all the incidents touching on the children's "growing outward" have an attractive starchiness that keeps this southern picture pert and provocative. There is much advance interest in this book; it has been selected by the Literary Guild and Reader's Digest; it should win many friends.

Pub Date: July 11, 1960

ISBN: 0060935464

Page Count: 323

Publisher: Lippincott

Review Posted Online: Oct. 7, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 1960

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While a few weeks ago it seemed as if Praeger would have a two month lead over Dutton in their presentation of this Soviet best seller, both the "authorized" edition (Dutton's) and the "unauthorized" (Praeger's) will appear almost simultaneously. There has been considerable advance attention on what appears to be as much of a publishing cause celebre here as the original appearance of the book in Russia. Without entering into the scrimmage, or dismissing it as a plague on both your houses, we will limit ourselves to a few facts. Royalties from the "unauthorized" edition will go to the International Rescue Committee; Dutton with their contracted edition is adhering to copyright conventions. The Praeger edition has two translators and one of them is the translator of Doctor Zhivago Dutton's translator, Ralph Parker, has been stigmatized by Praeger as "an apologist for the Soviet regime". To the untutored eye, the Dutton translation seems a little more literary, the Praeger perhaps closer to the rather primitive style of the original. The book itself is an account of one day in the three thousand six hundred and fifty three days of the sentence to be served by a carpenter, Ivan Denisovich Shukhov. (Solzhenitsyn was a political prisoner.) From the unrelenting cold without, to the conditions within, from the bathhouse to the latrine to the cells where survival for more than two weeks is impossible, this records the hopeless facts of existence as faced by thousands who went on "living like this, with your eyes on the ground". The Dutton edition has an excellent introduction providing an orientation on the political background to its appearance in Russia by Marvin Kalb. All involved in its publication (translators, introducers, etc.) claim for it great "artistic" values which we cannot share, although there is no question of its importance as a political and human document and as significant and tangible evidence of the de-Stalinization program.

Pub Date: June 15, 1963

ISBN: 0451228146

Page Count: 181

Publisher: Praeger

Review Posted Online: Oct. 5, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 1963

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