Chapter 19, entitled "Abbott and the Sticky Shit All Over the Fucking Steering Wheel Again," reads, in its entirety,Gone are the daydreams of academic notoriety and glistening vulvas and whatever else. All Abbott wants right now--the only thing--is to be knocked unconscious by the long wooden handle of a lawn tool.
Bachelder can always make me laugh, as much from the careful precision of what he dosn't say as from the hijinks of incident and character. Maybe especially character: Abbott is a sap, a Sisyphus, a stooge, a prick, a dad, a loving, confused, hopeful, resentful family man and husband. What we have here are some three loose collages of episodes, over a hot summer leading to the birth by caesarean of his second child. There' s plot in each page, page and a half, but--see above--it is more impressionistic sketch, capturing tone, the accretion of impact by the trivial stuff of everyday non-event, and the careful pointillism which builds a sense of this guy, this life. I loved this book. I love Bachelder's prose and the architecture of his wit. And I love--here, as in the very different and equally-great U.S.!