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Tepper Isn't Going Outby Calvin Trillin
Synopses & Reviews
Murray Tepper would say that he is an ordinary New Yorker who is simply trying to read the newspaper in peace. But he reads while sitting behind the wheel of his parked car, and his car always seems to be in a particularly desirable parking spot. Not surprisingly, he is regularly interrupted by drivers who want to know if he is going out.
Tepper isn?t going out. Why not? His explanations tend to be rather literal: the indisputable fact, for instance, that he has twenty minutes left on the meter.
Tepper?s behavior sometimes irritates the people who want his spot. ("Is that where you live? Is that car rent-controlled?") It also irritates the mayor — Frank Ducavelli, known in tabloid headlines as Il Duce — who sees Murray Tepper as a harbinger of what His Honor always calls "the forces of disorder."
But once New Yorkers become aware of Tepper, some of them begin to suspect that he knows something they don?t know. And an ever-increasing number of them are willing to line up for the opportunity to sit in his car with him and find out.
Tepper Isn?t Going Out is a wise and witty story of an ordinary man who, perhaps innocently, changes the world around him.
"With Tepper Isn't Going Out, [Trillin has] written his best fiction — a Capraesque fantasy of the unwitting underdog winning out (with Mel Brooks, say, subbing for Jimmy Stewart in the title role). It's a gentle vision: a valentine to undaunted individuality. This fine, winsome book is a reminder of how we may prevail in small ways." Paul Evans, Book Magazine
"So deft and so deeply kind is Trillin that this send-up of Mayor Giuliani, written before the September disaster, instead of collapsing like a dead souffle, survives high and light....Sweetly silly and very wise. This is what we want to put back in place when the city pulls out of the nightmare." Kirkus Reviews
"If you drive a car in a major city, you know that the success of an evening has nothing to do with the charm of your date, the taste of the food, or the brilliance of the theater. It's all about the quality of your parking space. With Tepper Isn't Going Out, Calvin Trillin has written a novel that's as delightful as finding a free spot in Times Square." The Christian Science Monitor (read the entire CSM review)
About the Author
Calvin Trillin, a longtime staff writer for The New Yorker, was also the co-editor (with Gerald Jonas) of a one-issue publication called Beautiful Spot: A Magazine of Parking. He lives in Manhattan, and now keeps his car in a garage.
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