Tuesday, January 05, 2010

David Carkeet's FROM AWAY in Kirkus Reviews

David Carkeet's new novel From Away, coming in March 2010, is reviewed in Kirkus Reviews: "Dennis Braintree's adventures in Vermont begin when his car runs off the road and into a ditch, leading him to hail passersby, "Welcome to my crash site!" He winds up at the Ethan Allen Motel in Montpelier, where blind hostess Betsy, whose rooms have been filled by a legislative session, sticks him first in a windowless cubby, then in the room vacated by Mort Shuler. It's here that he meets good-time girl Marge Plongeur, who makes herself at home in his Jacuzzi, sends him out for cigarettes and condoms and then vanishes after apparently swinging so hard from his chandelier that she brings it crashing down on his bed. Except that Marge hasn't just vanished; according to Nick and Lance, a pair of police officers Denny runs into at the airport, she's been pushed off the balcony by whoever rented the room and left footprints outside in the snow. That person, naturally, is Denny, and his goose would be cooked if Nick hadn't taken Denny for his old friend Homer Dumpling, Betsy's nephew, who spent the last three years in Florida. Denny, recently fired from his job at a magazine aimed at model-railroad buffs, sees no reason that he shouldn't accept the role that's just been handed to him, and Carkeet (The Error of Our Ways) moves heaven and earth to show how he can get away with the masquerade against all odds—mainly because Denny embraces each new obstacle as a challenge and never shows the slightest fear. Sooner or later, of course, this house of cards has to come tumbling down, but Carkeet's Candide is so winning and his plotting so deft that the day of reckoning is as graceful as the moment when the juggler catches all five balls without missing a beat."

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