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Wolf Point Paperback – August 10, 2006

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Thomas "T" Walker is a 57-year-old businessman trying to put his life together after downloading a questionable photo from the Internet and getting busted for child pornography. Driving from Virginia to Canada, Walker, against his better judgment, picks up young couple Jenny and Lester in New York. The seductive Jenny immediately begins flirting with Walker; Walker responds; Lester provides slow-burn menace. Slowly, the couple give Walker their story: they are fleeing a Tennessee drug dealer from whom Lester has stolen (and lost) $40,000. Jenny's advances get increasingly overt; Lester's jealousy matches them. As Walker drives on toward their destination, a cabin at Wolf Point near Ontario Bay, Falco gets considerable mileage probing Walker's psyche as he contemplates past mistakes, while Jenny hints at the possibility of a serious relationship and Lester tries to extract a lump sum from the once-successful Walker for a payoff. The intriguing climax features a series of not quite smoothly foreshadowed revelations about Jenny's past and her relationship with Lester, along with a shooting that may spell the end of this uncomfortable ménage. Falco, whose selected stories were published by Unbridled in May as Sabbath Night in the Church of the Piranha, delivers a solid, small-scale thriller. (Oct. 18)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Falco, author of the much-praised short-story collection, Sabbath Night in the Church of the Piranha (2005), offers a compelling novel about the darker side of humanity and delves pointedly into the complexities of human sexuality. Falco's sentient approach leaves the reader thoughtfully disturbed rather than pointlessly horrified by these thematic explorations. Tom "T" Walker, Jenny, and Lester are companions in this tale of vicarious adventure, with darkness and pain being the desired experience. T is the voyeur. He is seeking escape from his own suffering and does so by offering Jenny and Lester, two overtly dangerous-looking hitchhikers, a ride. With clean and precise prose, the three lives are written easily into the landscape of contemporary American problems: drug addiction, sexual abuse, and extreme family dysfunction. The climax is filled with unbearable tension, and the temptation is strong to skip ahead to see who lives. Upon reflection, the reader will experience the novel both as thriller and social commentary. Andrea Japzon
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Unbridled Books; First Trade Paper Edition edition (October 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1932961305
  • ISBN-13: 978-1932961300
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 5.5 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,576,143 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Luan Gaines HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on September 10, 2005
Format: Hardcover
A mature man, driving alone from Virginia to the Thousand Islands near the Canadian border, impulsively stops to pick up two hitchhikers, Jenny and Lester, a young woman and her long-haired companion. The driver, T. Aloysius Walker, is attempting to repair a broken life, marriage and family a thing of the past. He realizes it isn't smart to stop for these two, but he does it anyway, longing for a change, any change in the isolated monotony of his recent existence. He gets far more than he bargained for. At fifty-seven, T is still attractive, maintaining an athletic build. When Jenny says that she is twenty-three, T thinks she is probably younger; from the start, she flirts openly with him, while Lester, a supposed ex-boyfriend glowers from the back seat of T's new Range Rover. When T reveals his destination, Jenny is enthusiastic and says that's where they are headed as well.

At the core of all is a moral conundrum, a man's life on autopilot for so long that he has lost touch with the reasons for getting through each day. Seduced by his own curiosity, he has stepped so far out that he can't retreat. So he goes forward, now cleverly seduced by a girl young enough to be his granddaughter. The hitchhikers act out their roles on another plane of existence, long inured to violence in a world that takes everything and gives back nothing. T clings to a naiveté that seems either desperate or impossibly innocent for a man of his years. Stranded in a parallel universe, T's is a willing hostage to fate, unconnected to those controlling his future, caught in a moment of reckoning he never sees coming, so wrapped in his miasma of memories.

What happens when a man on the downside of life picks up two strangers, with nothing to recommend them but a menace they wear so casually?
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Laurel Johnson on September 5, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Tom Walker, known as T to his friends, is traveling from his home in Virginia to Upstate New York. Despite his wealth and business success, T's life is a shambles. Walker lost his family and reputation unexpectedly. This trip to a place he was once happy is a frantic effort to regain peace and focus. He's empty, emotionally isolated, and hoping a return to old

haunts near Wolf Point will help him feel alive again. Well, be careful what you hope for, T, because you just might get it!

Hitching a ride north is the type of blonde few men could pass by, no matter how many warning bells go off in their heads. Jenny Cross is curvaceous, oozing sexuality. Hitching with her is Lester, a macho tough guy carrying a guitar case. From the moment Jenny slides into the seat beside T, she plays the sweet seductress, a purring nubile kitten. Lester, on the other hand, has a troubling, threatening edge. T mentally prepares for trouble sooner or later in their journey.

The games begin immediately and accelerate once T, Jenny, and Lester reach a cabin at Wolf Point. Plans to rob T and steal his SUV are put on temporary hold when Jenny and Lester decide their benefactor might give them $60,000 if they play him right. Jenny shares Lester's story during quiet times

cuddling with T, who's more than twice her age. Lester tells him Jenny's story while fishing, leaving T to sort the truth from fiction. T knows instinctively that lives are in the balance, but will it be his or theirs?

The tale is told suspensefully through dysfunctional characters whose flaws are handled sympathetically by a gifted wordsmith. Wolf Point is quintessential Falco as he skillfully reveals the darker twists and frailties of human nature.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By John Domini on August 18, 2006
Format: Hardcover
While I've written about this novel for print, praising not just WOLF POINT but a number of Falco's fictions (in hypertext as well as on the page), I care enough about this author and accomplishment to honor them both again in this medium. Falco's latest novel is superb. It erupts with from its opening sentence's "pulp tableau" (a hot young blonde hitchiking, not quite hiding the greasy thug traveling with her) like a perfectly timed and vividly colored fireworks display against a thoroughly noir night.

The girl is Jenny, a stubborn but tormented creation to stand with the finest femme fatales. Her tough backup, Lester, veers intriguingly between brute and clown. And the man who picks this duo up is the hurting and withdrawn "T," more troubled than either of the others in his way. The process by which the two runaways bring T to a refreshed awareness and vitality, all while merely trying to save their own skins, creates a classic set-piece of a weary mule, a carrot, and a stick.

In other words, WOLF POINT is expertly crafted, its rough trade taking place in ever-smaller spaces -- yet what lingers with you is its emotional depth. I have a few cavils about this book, off in the rarified atmosphere of High Lit. But I must acknowledge, above all, the impact of the wrenching choices this story hammers out, and the key turning points it gives voice. The title may speak of wolves, but the howl is entirely human.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on October 21, 2005
Format: Hardcover
WOLF POINT by Edward Falco is a far larger and deeper novel than its relatively small size --- 234 pages --- would immediately portend. This is no reflection on the narrative, which clips right along at a pace that leaves readers gasping for breath, implicitly daring them to stop reading. The events, which for the most part take place over a couple of fateful days but resonate backward and forward in time, linger long after the last paragraph is read.

Reading WOLF POINT is akin to discovering an unpublished, collaborative manuscript created by John Cheever and Jim Thompson. The narrative opens with Tom Walker (" friends and family call me 'T'..."), a 57-year-old businessman, picking up a much younger man and woman who are hitchhiking outside of Syracuse, NY. There is an immediate sense that all is not right; indeed this is communicated to the reader by Walker himself, who knows better than to stop --- which, in the words of the narrative, is precisely why he does. The hitchhikers are Lester and Jenny, who introduce themselves as brother and sister initially but who are far more, and less, than that. In reality Lester and Jenny are on a panicked run, the reason for which may be remedied by the application of a large amount of cash.

And it turns out that Walker has plenty of that. The trio heads for a small community called Thousand Islands, a place that has significant meaning for each of them. One expects the situation to inevitably spiral downward, and it does, almost from the moment that Walker opens his door --- and his life --- to Lester and Jenny. Each and every principal here is carrying baggage.
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