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The Many Aspects of Mobile Home Living: A Novel Paperback – March 27, 2001
The Eagle Tree
A young boy must fight to protect what he loves, but can he do it without risking his family?Learn More
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The story itself offers interlocking strands that come together in the person of Evers Wheeling, a preternaturally young North Carolina judge who's headed to the dogs with his eyes wide open, "waiting to hit bottom," as he puts it. But just before he makes it there, into his life comes a blonde in trouble with an outrageous (and ever-mutating) tale of a brother who needs help avoiding a jail sentence. That this brother turns out not to resemble his sister in the slightest--he's an African-American dwarf, and strong for his size--is just a small surprise in the overall scheme of things. (Here you might start trying to picture The Maltese Falcon as rewritten by Charles Portis.)
There's an elusive prize, possibly a cache of rare stamps worth millions, and a decided falling-out between an uncertain alliance of thieves; there's also a brutal murder, one that's close enough to home to put Evers Wheeling on trial for his own life. In addition to all this, there's Evers's brother, Pascal, to reckon with: he's the one with the double-wide trailer parked back in the woods, the IQ that's off the charts, the preference for staying stoned, and the one trying to help his sibling in any way he can, no matter the illegality.
The Many Aspects of Mobile Home Living is enough to put Good Ole Boys back in style. But until Martin Clark writes his next book, I guess all I can do is go back and reread Michael Malone's equally memorable--and moving--Handling Sin, perhaps the best Southern novel of the past quarter-century. --Otto Penzler --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
At the end, I got the feeling you always get from the best books, that everything the author wrote is true and that all the characters you met are off living their lives in the same fits and stalls and moments of transcendence we all experience, and if you knew them or had their phone numbers you could just call them up and talk about whatever goofy things you talk about with your real friends. The blurb on the back compares him to Hiassen, but entertaining as Hiassen is, I think Clark is a deeper and rarer bird, already more accomplished in limning real people and the things they do - if not as sharp with plot, which at times seems almost incidental. But the writing is so good it doesn't matter.
This novel takes us on a serpentine trip, both literally and figuratively, as we explore not only the North Carolina and West Virginia landscapes, but also take the occassional side trip into the inner workings of our revered legal system. Not to mention a drug laced exploration or two into the meaning of life. Clark has managed, in these short 350 pages, to conjure up and slay many of our most feared demons, from the classic disillusionment of our post-graduate times to the spiritual abyss that so many of us have adopted as our safe haven. And he has done it through the introduction of a cast of rascals and ner' do wells that tug at your heartstrings like long lost friends. While the task seems to be nearly overwhelming on its face, Clark manages to twine all of the pieces into a solid rope, leaving only one question unanswered at the surprising conclusion of this excellent first work--Where is my Ruth Esther? This is a must read!
Circuit court judge Evers Wheeling finds himself, his pot smoking, heavy drinking brother and friends on a cross-country journey from N.C. to Utah to retrieve a hidden treasure. The treasure comes by the way of a mystical woman who cries pearly tears, Ruth Esther English. She promises a part of the fortune to Evers if he will drop her brother's case when he appears in court before him. Prompted by a sense of the wealth and a sense of adventure, Evers agrees.
As the group sets off to retrieve the treasure they are joined by Ruth Esther's almost militant-like, black lawyer Pauletta. Some of the books funniest moments occur when the conservative, southern-bred Evers and Pauletta trade barbs.
The treasure, stolen drug money, is also found to include a mysterious letter that Ruth Esther goes to any length necessary to keep to herself. Curious about the content of the letter and the mysterious tears that Ruth Esther produces (which they believe are wish-bearing and build a shrine for) the group sets out to find the truth behind it all. In doing so and as their wishes come true, they reveal hidden and truths and feelings about themselves that they didn't even know existed.
It may seem weird, but while reading this book I was taken in by a sense of tranquility. Clark has a very calm and soothing way of writing. Instead of the sudden and abrupt plot twists and turns associated with thrillers, the "go with the flow", almost melting-like writing is like a breath of fresh air. Although containing no real edge-of-your-seat, nail biting theatrics, there is plenty of suspense and intrique to keep the reader thouroughly engrossed.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Just genius. THE BIG LEBOWSKI of thrillers, with a little Hunter S. Thompson mixed in. Clever and smart as can be.Published 3 months ago by Harry L. Slate
I couldn't finish it, it wasn't worth the time and effort. There was no one I liked and the main character seemed intelligent as a judge but totally lacking in common sense in his... Read morePublished 7 months ago by R. Haggard
Characters are not very likeable. Thus, the reader doesn't really care where the plot goes and whether any characters are saved from their dreary, drug and alcohol filled... Read morePublished 7 months ago by mamasu
This is not a funny book - I found the book - story, writing, mentality of the characters - insulting to members of the Virginia State Bar and the Judiciary in Southwest Virginia. Read morePublished 8 months ago by E R Cheyney