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CLARA & THE BILGE [Kindle Edition]

Lee Olds
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)

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Book Description

New Fiction from Critically Acclaimed Novelist Lee Olds

Two Short Novels by the West Coast Literary Legend in One Stunning Collection
A writer becomes besotted with a woman with whose help he thinks he will reach publishing fame. A tense psychological novel set in contemporary California.

“Clara is a stunning tale of a writer finding inspiration, Lee Old's prose is pellucid and hard-won. A cracking read for anyone.” Mary O’Toole

A ménage-à-trois quickly deepens into a gripping play of wits where everything is at stake. A suspenseful psychological novel set in Sausalito, San Francisco Bay.

“One of the best novels I’ve read in says more in sixty pages than most books do in six hundred.” San Francisco Examiner

“The Bilge is simply a great novel.” San Francisco Review of Books

“The Bilge, philosophical fiction of a sort rarely attempted by Americans, though depressing in its conclusions, is exhilarating in its execution.” Newsday, NY

Critical Acclaim for Lee Olds, Best-selling author of 1960’s classic ‘Too Much Sun’

“THE BILGE” is a short, gloomy, seductive allegory that expresses the despair that men and women of good will sometimes feel when pondering the world of greed, exploitation, oppression and hopelessness that confronts them. Archetypal characters – Richter, the narrator, a reactionary lawyer, rigid, bitter, anti-Semitic; Peters, the Bohemian writer whose lifestyle eats at the foundations of Richter’s beliefs; the Professor, the iconoclastic Jewish intellectual Richter envies and abominates; the Goddess, the Professor’s beautiful, dependent, destructive, drunk wife – argue incessantly in an unearthly Sausalito, as graphically corporeal as the character’s habitation but strangely undescribed. Through murder and mayhem, we never escape the bitter confines of Richter’s mind. “The Bilge,” philosophical fiction of a sort rarely attempted by Americans, though depressing in its conclusions, is exhilarating in its execution.

Lee Old’s novella, “THE BILGE,” has an electricity so intense you can almost hear it crackle on the page. Narrated by one of its four central characters, Richter, a yuppies lawyer with a penchant for racism and anti-Semitism, the story plunges us into the word of the Professor, a university mathematician, his alcoholic wife, the Goddess, and Peters, a booze-crazed writer living in a ‘60s time-warp. On the surface, the relationship between the characters pivot off the mounting tension between Peters and the Professor as they try to drain the water from the bilge of a sunken houseboat where Peters had been living.

Just below the narrative surface, the author ingeniously implants the psychological dynamite. As events evolve, it becomes evident that all four characters are a composite gestalt of modern society’s collective death wish.

Lee Olds is a thinking person’s writer. Not only can he condense into 69 pages what many writers can only dream of achieving in 669, but his ability to integrate a mathematician’s sense of precision with a philosopher’s sensibility for metaphysical pathos is as impressive as it is stimulating. Here is a writer to watch.

PRAISE FOR TOO MUCH SUN (also available on Amazon)
“By Kerouac out of Salinger . . . The pioneer of a new post-Beatnik generation.” New York Herald Tribune

“Rowdy, wild and bawdy. Barry is as engaging as Holden Caulfield and as believable.” Book of the Month Club

“TOO MUCH SUN is an amazing book, remarkable, brilliant! It plunges the reader into the thoughts and yearnings of a generation that begins where Catcher in the Rye leaves off.” Worcester Telegram

Product Details

  • File Size: 831 KB
  • Print Length: 182 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Not So Noble Books; psychological fiction edition (February 25, 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,067,912 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Contemporary fiction at its best February 26, 2014
I highly recommend these two short novels to anyone who enjoys quality fiction. The characters are absorbing and as a reader you become every more embroiled in the plot. Impossible to put down.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not a good trip September 15, 2014
Verified Purchase
I am baffled that a writer with obvious ability would choose such
unpleasant subject matter. The characters lack appeal. Their actions
are sad or repellent. It is a vicarious experience one would like to avoid. CS
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars two great reads February 26, 2014
Two books in one edition. Both with different moods and both beautifully written. He has something of Wallace Stegner, and something of Richard Yates. Deserves more attention, like those guys.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the best writer you've never read February 27, 2014
Lee Olds deserves recognition for a long literary career encompassing a range of styles, but always seeking out artististic and metaphysical truth. He comes across somewhat as a grumpy old devil in the intererview accompanying these two excellent novellas, but I guess he's in a position to see the world through the lens of long hard yards done with the pen.
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4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Existential Tales February 26, 2014
By Sexia
Two contemporary fables that are both thought provoking and real, covering love, loss and the nature of inspiration as philosphical treatises...
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Blew me away! March 6, 2014
These two books blew me away. I didn’t get what I was expecting. Both these stories changed the way I see the world. I don’t know if they have left me cold or wanting more from life. But they made me think.
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