[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.