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Onward Toward What We're Going Toward

by Ryan Bartelmay

This bitter-sweet novel is set in small town Middle America - literally in a place called 'Middleville' - where the fifties' American Dream has turned sour and the characters lead lives of quiet desperation, linked by grief and aimlessness. Recommended for those readers who prefer a character-driven, old-fashioned style of narration without gimmicks, but with plenty of wry humour and emotional depth.

Extract

On the radio, Dr. Peale said, 'Become a possibilitarian. No matter how dark things seem to be or actually are, raise your sights and see possibilities – always see them, for they are always there.' Diane heard Chic come home from work. He was not a possibilitarian. He was a wreckatarian. A pool digger. Goddamn him. She should throw off the bedsheets and run down the stairs and punch him in the stomach. She should spit on his feet. She should grab both of his ears and scream her hot, vengeful breath in his face. She should jump up and down in the middle of the living room, then on the couch, and after gaining enough momentum, hop to the coffee table and finally leap on him and tackle him to the ground, where on top of him, she’d scream into his face, 'Chic Walddbeeser, this is all your goddamn fault!' But she didn’t move. She heard Chic go into the downstairs bathroom and lock the door. Dr. Peale said, 'The life of inner peace, being harmonious and without stress, is the easiest type of existence.'

Parallels

The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen
Canada by Richard Ford
 

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