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Desert Blues by [Bill Albert]

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Desert Blues Kindle Edition

3.7 out of 5 stars 5 ratings

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Length: 188 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Page Flip: Enabled
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Swinging from poignant drama to edgy satire to farce, Albert's moving and funny first novel pairs an awkward orphaned adolescent immersed in 1950s rock 'n' roll and an unconventional "kept" woman. In 1957, confused, taciturn and fat 15-year-old Harold Abelstein, survivor of a car crash that killed his parents, goes to live with his Aunt Enid, a Palm Springs, Calif., cocktail waitress whose flowery perfumes, loud talk and constant pinching and touching make him uncomfortable. Enid's rent and car are provided gratis by her part-time lover, incredibly self-absorbed Archie Blatt, a St. Louis garment manufacturer who pops in a few times a year to escape his invalid wife and teenage daughters. Though resenting her dependence, Enid faces a bigger problem when her manipulative, self-pitying father, Abe, who walked out on the family 25 years ago, suddenly reappears, shabby, reeking of whiskey and terminally ill. Tensions snap as Abe grows ever sicker and then Archie shows up, forcing four disparate souls to fitfully coexist under one roof. With a fine ear for dialogue, Albert perfectly captures a time and place-and the emotional chafing between family members who can't help but care for one another, despite themselves.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.

From Kirkus Reviews

First fiction that's like the desert in which it's set: flat and stretching for miles without hint of change or oasis. Harold is a flatulent, overweight 16-year-old whose parents die in a car wreck on the Pasadena Freeway. He goes to live in boring Palm Springs with his Aunt Enid, who is too buxom, too painted, and too brassy for his delicate adolescent sensibilities. But she's his only relative--that is, until her deserter father, Harold's long-lost, alcoholic grandfather, Abe, arrives on Enid's doorstep. The crotchety old man's kidneys are failing; he needs a place to die. These travails are complicated by the fact that Enid is a kept woman, and her lover, Archie, doesn't like relatives crowding their nest. All parties collide at Enid's in a comic snarl in which the living terms are hashed out once and for all. Will Archie throw Enid & Co. out? Will Enid throw Abe out? Will Enid relocate Harold? Who cares? The problem here is that the story's central conflict is a tempest in a teapot. The characters are too quirkily affable to do much damage to one another, and we know that Enid and Harold will survive even if they are curbside with only $700 because she's a trouper and he's young and resilient. The author avoids conflict at all costs--Harold narrowly averts being beat up, Enid doesn't plotz that he got drunk, potential romances (for Enid and Harold) dissipate without investigation, and crises are faced with an oy-gevalt, this-is-my-life sense of humor. Interest in some decent comic moments wanes with the realization that the plot is gratuitous, the jokes are central. Everything in this novel is too easy--including the laughs and the leaving of it at the end. -- Copyright ©1994, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.

Product details

  • File Size : 889 KB
  • Publication Date : June 10, 2014
  • Print Length : 188 pages
  • Publisher : Open Road Media; 1st Edition (June 10, 2014)
  • Word Wise : Enabled
  • Text-to-Speech : Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting : Enabled
  • X-Ray : Not Enabled
  • Screen Reader : Supported
  • Language: : English
  • ASIN : B00KQ6PJC2
  • Lending : Enabled
  • Customer Reviews:
    3.7 out of 5 stars 5 ratings

Customer reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
3.7 out of 5
5 global ratings
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5.0 out of 5 stars simply the best
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on February 5, 2016
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