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Mama's Boyby Rick Demarinis
Synopses & Reviews
Praise for Rick DeMarinis:
“DeMarinis is a contemporary avatar of that tradition in American short story writing that, by way of Hawthorne, Melville, Faulkner, O‘Connor, Welty, and Cheever, is essentially religious and, because rooted in everyday, comic. . . . His art, then is comedy of a very high order.”—Russell Banks, The New York Times Book Review
“However similar the existential suffering of his characters, DeMarinis expertly probes the contours of their condition. You simply can’t move your eyes from the page.” —Mark Smirnoff, The New York Times Book Review
“Rick DeMarinis has long been one of my favorite writers; wherever he has cast his gaze, he has taught me something new about the way to see things.”—Robert Olen Butler, author of A Good Scent from a Strange Mountain
Gus Reppo’s parents won’t leave him alone, following him to the air force base where he enlists to escape them. Gus still learns a thing or two about girls, crime, and punishment, though shades of mama are never far behind.
Rick DeMarinis is the author of eight novels, including The Year of the Zinc Penny, a New York Times Notable Book, and six short story collections. In 1990, he received an Academy Award for Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.
"Gus Reppo, the nice guy hero of Demarinis's slight latest, joined the Air Force 'to get away from his doting parents but they followed him.' As it happens, this isn't a good move for anyone. Though Gus's father tries to push him into the family business of dentistry, Gus ends up a radio repairman on a base in remotest Montana, where there is little to do but get in trouble. While Gus is nothing if not decent, he still can't get things quite right; 'You just seem like the kind of guy that attracts trouble. You don't look for it, but it finds you anyway,' a girl tells Gus before they drive her car out onto a frozen lake just for yuks. Indeed, trouble finds Gus repeatedly, but there's never a sense that it affects him all that much. Demarinis (The Year of the Zinc Penny) wrangles an endearing cast into a straightforward story of a man whose life falls apart around him, but the narrative, with all of its inconsequential developments, lacks urgency. It's competently written, but, like Gus, it falls into trouble despite pure intentions. (Jan.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright PWyxz LLC)
A hilarious tale of growing up, featuring parents who just won't let you.
Gus Reppo's parents have everything figured out for their son, right down to the county where they hope he'll practice dentistry. And when they follow him to the air force base where he enlists—who else will make sure he's served adequate meals?—he realizes its not going to be easy shaking off his kin, or their Mantovani obsession. After his mother introduces the possibility that his parents are not who they seem, Guss life takes a turn for the weird, in this latest hilarious novel from American original DeMarinis.
About the Author
Rick DeMarinis is the author of six novels. The Year of the Zinc Penny was a 1989 New York Times Notable Book, and three previous collections of short fiction. His stories have appeared in Harper's, Antaeus, Story, Epoch, among many others. He teaches creative writing at the University of Texas, El Paso.
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