Elect Mr. Robinson for a Better World

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Viking, 1993 - Fiction - 185 pages
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Donald Antrim's first novel is a wickedly funny tale of a world made riotous by life's mysterious and sometimes violent accidents. In this bold new place - "at once familiar and not familiar, home but not home" - neighboring families conduct full-scale wars in local parks, and spike-embedded trenches encircle homes and manicured lawns. Death hangs in the air; bizarre rituals unfold beneath the light of the moon; hidden bombs explode in the swampy distance.
A world, in other words, strangely like our own.
Save that this is the home of Pete Robinson: third-grade schoolteacher, civic-minded mayoral hopeful, and enthusiastic historian of the mediaeval Inquisition. (Pete's - and his students' - favorite classroom lectures feature titles like "Pain and Sacrifice" and "The Barbarity of the Past" and stress glories of martyrdom finely portrayed upon the rack, the wheel, the Iron Maiden.) Pete is also the doting husband of Meredith, a woman of grace and vision, altogether impressive, whose special, afterhours talents (during days she specializes in elementary-level guidance counseling and grievance arbitration, along with some fifth-grade bio) include self-inducement of ichthyomorphic reveries and the uncommon ability to "access memory at the cellular level and ride the DNA chain like a wave back into prehistory."
Elect Mr. Robinson For a Better World announces a daring new American voice, in a precisely crafted, spectacularly provocative debut novel, laced with midnight-black humor and as taut as a victim on a rack. Graceful, electric - this is a true tale for our times.

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Elect Mr. Robinson for a better world

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Mr. Robinson is a teacher without a school--the result of a taxpayer revolt--who has a fascination with the instruments of the Inquisition. He has a wife who, as a result of an encounter with a New ... Read full review

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