Abbott Awaits: A Novel (Google eBook)

Front Cover
LSU Press, 2011 - Fiction - 180 pages
20 Reviews

A quiet tour de force, Chris Bachelder's Abbott Awaits transforms the ordinary into the extraordinary, startlingly depicting the intense and poignant challenges of a vulnerable, imaginative father as he lives his everyday American existence.

In Abbott we see a modern-day Sisyphus: he is the exhausted father of a lively two-year old, the ruminative husband of a pregnant insomniac, and the confused owner of a terrified dog. Confronted by a flooded basement, a broken refrigerator, a urine-soaked carpet, and a literal snake in the woodpile, Abbott endures the beauty and hopelessness of each moment, often while contemplating evolutionary history, altruism, or the passage of time.

An expectant father and university teacher on summer break, Abbott tackles the agonizing chores of each day, laboring for peace in his household and struggling to keep his daughter clean and happy, all while staving off a fear of failure as a parent, and even as a human being. As he cleans car seats, forgets to apply sun block, clips his dog's nails, dresses his daughter out of season, and makes unsuccessful furniture-buying trips with his wife, his mind plays out an unrelenting series of paradoxical reflections. Abbott's pensive self-doubt comes to a head one day in late June as he cleans vomited raspberries out of his daughter's car seat and realizes: "The following propositions are both true: (A) Abbott would not, given the opportunity, change one significant element of his life, but (B) Abbott cannot stand his life."

Composed of small moments of domestic wonder and terror, Abbott Awaits is a charming story of misadventure, anxiety, and the everyday battles and triumphs of parenthood.

  

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Review: Abbott Awaits

User Review  - Nathan Oates - Goodreads

This is one of the funniest, most charming, and most intelligent books I've read in a very long time. The book is told in brief chapters (all with precise and often hilarious titles) and chronicles a ... Read full review

Review: Abbott Awaits

User Review  - Alex - Goodreads

It was an interesting read, though, nothing actually happens. At all. Which is kind of the point. It's supposed to just be the mundane existence of a normal family man. It's quite amusing, which makes ... Read full review

Contents

2 Abbott and the Somersault
2
3 Abbott and the Inoperative Traffic Light
3
4 Abbotts Dog
4
5 In Which Abbott is Surprised by Artifice
5
6 Abbott and the Paradox of Personal Growth
6
7 Abbotts Dread
7
8 Wonderful Life
8
9 Abbotts Imaginary Letter to an Imaginary Nationally Syndicated Childhood and Parenting Expert
9
19 Abbott and the Sticky Shit All Over the Fucking Steering Wheel Again
19
20 Abbott and the Utopian Community
20
21 In Which Abbott Drives through the Center of a Diamond
21
22 Abbotts Cave
22
23 Abbotts Folk Remedy
23
24 On Turbulence
24
25 The Obstetricians Tale
25
26 Abbott and the Oversized Load
26

10 Abbott and the Jacobite Revolts
10
11 Abbott and the Highchair
11
12 Abbott Hogs the Mood
12
13 Abbott Suffers the Pang of Vindication
13
14 In Which Abbott Fails to Complete a Pretty Basic Task
14
15 The Expatriate
15
16 Abbott and the Wrong Tool
16
17 Fathers Day
17
18 All Observation Darwin Noted Must Be For or Against Some View If It Is to Be of Any Service
18
19 Abbotts Mind
19
20 Malaise Is for Renters
20
21 Abbott and the Longest Day of the Year
21
22 The Abbott Hubcap Index AHI
22
23 Abbott RSVPs
23
24 Abbott Goes In
24
25 Abbott and the Antique Tractor
25
26 Abbott and the Families of Trapped Miners
26
27 The Labors of Abbott
27
28 Abbott the Activist
28
29 Abbott Takes the Garbage Out
29
30 Abbott and the BowlShaped Field
30
JULY
31
1 Abbott Bumps His Head on the Glass Ceiling of the Capitalist Imagination
1
2 Abbott and the Disturbing Images
2
3 Abbott and the Terrible Persistence of Romantic Thought
3
4 Abbott Celebrates the Birth of His Nation
4
5 In Which the Celebration Continues Deep into the Night
5
6 The Heating and Cooling Specialists Tale
6
7 In Which Abbott Is Linked to Fetal Research In New Zealand
7
8 Abbott Recoils from The Natural Order of Things
8
9 Abbott Glimpses As If from a Distance
9
10 The Broken Heart It Kens
10
11 Abbott and the Clenched Jaw
11
12 Abbott Discovers an Idiom in His Yard
12
13 Abbott Thinks Yet Again the Unthinkable
13
14 Abbotts Imaginary Burst into Subdisciplinary Prominence
14
15 On the Very Possibility of Kindness
15
16 Abbott and the Mail
16
17 Abbott Adds a Key to the Ring
17
18 Abbott on the Couch
18
27 In Which Abbott Sits in a Parked Car for Quite a While
27
28 Abbott and the Vexing Claims of Purity
28
29 Abbott and the Infestation
29
30 On Conservation
30
31 The Brave Simplicity of Truth
31
August
32
1 Abbott and the Clogged Main
1
2 In Which There Are no Hard Feelings
2
3 Abbott and the Good News First
3
4 Abbott at the Edge of His Seat
4
5 Abbotts Set Point
5
6 Abbott near the Doorway
6
7 Abbott and the Visiting Nurse
7
8 Abbott Concedes
8
9 Discretion is the Better Part of Discreteness
9
10 Abbotts Reminder
10
11 Abbotts Inadvertent Research on Prepositions
11
12 In Which a Gorilla Appears
12
13 Abbott Makes a Move
13
14 Abbott Pierced by the Subjunctive
14
15 Abbott and the Case of the Mysterious Thing in the Driveway
15
16 Abbott and the Online Questionnaire
16
17 In Which Abbott and His Wife Are Unafraid
17
18 Abbott and the Irregular Past Tense
18
19 In Which Abbott Stays Clean
19
20 Abbott Improves
20
21 Abbott Visits the Coffee Shop
21
22 Abbotts Supporting Role
22
23 On Dormancy
23
24 Abbott Stumbles toward a Theory of Use
24
25 Abbott and the Parable of the Giraffe
25
26 On Containment
26
27 Abbott and the Small Black Spot
27
28 Abbott Looks out the Window
28
29 Abbott and the Cold Shudder
29
30 Abbott on the Roof
30
31 Abbott Chooses a Side
31
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
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About the author (2011)

Chris Bachelder is the author of the novels U.S.! and Bear v. Shark. He grew up in Virginia and now teaches in the writing program at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, where he lives with his wife and two daughters.

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