Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Wonder Boys by Grady Tripp

(also known as Wonder Brothers)
published 1995









[the manuscript of this book came close to being destroyed in an unexplained incident in the carpark of a sporting goods store in Pittsburgh. The author decided not to write it again, but to make an objet trouve from surviving fragments]

The brothers stared at one another. They were the Wonder Boys, the sons of old Culloden Wonder. Could Lowell be right about this? And what about the horses? He’d been a fool about Valerie Sweet, and Johnny had still not forgiven him. He looked serious, & he suited that - the angle of his widow’s peak lying slightly out of true with the remainder of his face.

As they crawled into the fallout shelter they wondered if this was the wrong response to the coming of the floods.




observations: And that’s just about it. We know that the flood will come, and ‘one April day, [perhaps the 1st?] after a heavy winter, the Miskahannock River would overflow its banks and wash away the entire troubled town of Wonderburg, PA.’

Grady Tripp has had an interesting career trajectory, one common to many young American writers (particularly male) who came to prominence in the 1980s – three successful books, and then a long gap, then this one. Which disappeared in the incident in the parking lot. But that seemed to free him, and Sisters of Darkness is expected imminently, and has been so expected for several years.

He’s been compared, frequently, and particularly today, with Michael Chabon (also a Pittsburgh writer, but more industrious).

And what about the mysterious connections between Grady Tripp, Bob Dylan and Michael Douglas? This Youtube clip may or may not be helpful.








(The tune also features in the most surprising - to some of us - of this year's Superbowl ads.)


There are similiarities (and links) with Fleur Talbot's Warrender Chase, and James Mortmain's Enigmatism - which, as it happens, appeared on the blog exactly one and two years ago.

The original wonder boy, Michael Chabon, featured on the blog with another book, here.


19 comments:

  1. Hmmm, the Kindle store's drawing a blank on this one. Isn't it odd how that seems to happen every year about this time...

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    1. I'd be very impressed if you were claiming to have read it....

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  2. Never heard of this guy (or read a Grady), though Chabon sits somewhere on the pile. Probably a pass

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  3. I was thinking the same thing as Colm, Moira. Very creative!!

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  4. I was sure today's entry would be about the outfits worn by the spaghetti harvesters in Pasta of Wrath.

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    1. Good idea for next year. Do you still have a sewing machine by the way? That is a dressmakers pattern above....

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  5. Lots of names and references to books in such a short article. They're all new to me. Which one shall I go for if I want to bring about a reduction in increasingly frequent jibes about my shabbiness?

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    1. I think a real Wonder Boys by Michael Chabon. Or you could watch the film. Or just listen to some Bob Dylan....

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    2. I've watched the embedded Dylan clip but I'm still as shabby as ever. Looks as if a bit of Chabon is what I need.

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    3. I think the ensemble worn by the chap top left would suit you - the plaid shorts worn with a smart jacket.

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  6. Moira: Oh my! I think I had one of those suits. What was I thinking? Thankfully I never went near the shorts.

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    1. Oh Bill, if only you had a photo! I bet you looked very dapper....

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  7. I was just reading about Ayelet Waldman at Rebecca's blog, and then I hopped over to see your posts on Waldman, and now you are covering Chabon (sort of). I will be stopping back to check out the other Chabon and Waldman posts.

    This is very clever, Moira.

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    1. Thanks for the kind words Tracy. The two of them, Waldman and Chabon, really fascinate me...

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  8. Replies
    1. Excellent thought. Perhaps that's where he got his clothes from, as well as his moustache.

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