A Calling for Charlie Barnes
- CHF 9.00
- CHF 9.00
Beschreibung des Verlags
From the Booker-shortlisted author of To Rise Again at a Decent Hour comes a hilarious novel about fathers, sons, thwarted dreams and confronting the reality of who we really are
'This is a fine American novel about family, love, and a decent but flawed man trying to be better. In dark times like these, I can't recommend this book too highly. It's strong' Stephen King on Twitter
Charlie Barnes is a mid-century man devoted to his newspaper and his landline. But Charlie is about to get dragged into our troubled age by his storyteller son, who has a different idea of him than he has of himself. Then there are his other children, his ex-wives, present wife, business clients, friends and acquaintances, all of whom have their competing opinions of Charlie.
He certainly seems simple enough: he's a striver, a romantic, and a thoroughgoing capitalist. But suddenly blindsided by the Great Recession and a dose of bad news, he might have to rethink his life from top to bottom, and on short notice. What makes a man real? What makes him good? And how does the story we tell about ourselves line up with the lives that we actually live?
'Funny, moving, and formally a work of genius, A Calling for Charlie Barnes is quite literally the book Joshua Ferris was born to write' Garth Risk Hallberg, author of City on Fire
'Dazzling. Mind-blowing. About as much fun as you can have without risking arrest' Richard Russo, author of Empire Falls
'Wonderful: fast and deep, urgent and brilliant . . . A hilarious, intimate, and scathing takedown of so many American vanities' Dana Spiotta, author of Stone Arabia
NBA and Booker finalist Ferris (To Rise Again at a Decent Hour) returns with a compassionate metafictional portrait of a flawed father and his crumbling notion of the America dream. Jake Barnes, the sincere but unreliable narrator, sets out to recount the life of his dad, Charlie Barnes, aka "Steady Boy," a corporate gadfly and small business schemer who never made it through college. After multiple marriages, a few kids, and countless failed ideas for making it big clowns and weedkiller, flying toupees Steady Boy is working from his basement when he's diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Jake takes it upon himself to gather his older brother Jerry and his resentful half sister Marcy, both of whom believe Steady Boy is a fraud. Ferris makes the quotidian sing, such as Jake's description of a "thundering, brain-clearing sneeze" while Steady Boy retrieves the morning paper from the curb. Ferris also flirts with a cheesy happy ending, until it becomes likely that this, too, is a fraud, prompting readers to wonder if Ferris is toying with them via Jake, who channels his namesake from The Sun Also Rises, he of the Lost Generation who no longer believes in anything. Despite the heavy subject matter, the story is often quite funny, and the themes at its core are those that will forever preoccupy humankind: purpose and death, but, mostly, love. Of Ferris's work, this is the big kahuna.