A Strange Commonplace

Author(s): Gilbert Sorrentino
Original Publish Date: Nov 13, 2012
Product Number: EB00646053
Released: Mar 11, 2016
Business Term: Purchase
ISBN: #9781566892872
Publisher: Coffee House Press
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The author of Mulligan Stew presents "a savage, baffling and beguiling novel about the wreckage that infidelity leaves behind" (Kirkus Reviews). Borrowing its title from a William Carlos Williams poem, A Strange Commonplace lays bare the secrets and dreams of characters whose lives are intertwined by coincidence and necessity, possessions and experience. From the boozy 1950s to the culturally vacuous present, through the jungle of city streets and suburban bedroom communities, lines blur between families and acquaintances, violence and love, hope and despair. As fathers try to connect with their children, as writers struggle for credibility, as wives walk out, and an old man plays Russian roulette with a deck of cards, their stories resonate with poignancy and savage humor—familiar, tragic, and cathartic. "One never expects traditional plots from Sorrentino . . . but one can usually count on wit, vigorous prose, and an unflinchingly bleak take on life. . . . The novel is divided into fifty-two discrete parts—a dazzlingly original deck of cards." —The New Yorker "[Sorrentino] can be cutting in his satire, and bullying in his eroticism, and now adds anger to the mix as he portrays a circle of struggling New Yorkers living back in the sexist, alcohol-sodden, and hypocritical 1950s on into the egomaniacal present." —Booklist "Sorrentino [is] a writer like no other. He's learned, companionable, ribald, brave, mathematical, at once virtuosic and somehow without ego." —Jeffrey Eugenides "For decades, Gilbert Sorrentino has remained a unique figure in our literature. He reminds us that fiction lives because artists make it." —Don DeLillo

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