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Sweet and Viciousby David Schickler
Synopses & Reviews
"Fascinating and hilarious," "relentlessly clever," and "truly haunting" are all phrases that have been used to describe David Schickler?s unique talent. And all apply to this brash, brilliant novel featuring two of the most memorable characters in contemporary fiction: Grace McGlone and Henry Dante.
Sexy and willful, Grace McGlone is saving herself for the right man. When Henry Dante pulls into the small Wisconsin town where she works at the car wash, she instantly knows he?s the one. He knows it too. But when Grace discovers Henry has "The Planets" — a stolen set of famous Spanish diamonds — stashed in the back seat of his truck, she?s having none of it. She?s "trying for heaven," and the ill-gotten jewels must go. And so they do, in a race across the American landscape from Chicago to Yellowstone, purusued by a savage gangster obsessed by the diamonds he thought were his.
Passionate, criminal, comical, and possessing all the dark enchantment of a fairy tale, Sweet and Vicious is a modern love story shot straight from the heart of David Schickler?s miraculous imagination.
"In the much anticipated follow-up to 2001's Kissing in Manhattan, his highly acclaimed story collection, Schickler tracks a pair of gloriously wacky, star-crossed young lovers on the lam from a gang of goons. Driving across the Great Plains in a stolen pick-up truck, loner thug Henry Dante and flame-haired temptress Grace McGlone are bent on giving away a set of seven famous stolen diamonds in a series of impetuous, extravagant gestures that are every bit as improbable as their relationship itself. From the omen-laden day that they first meet — when Grace walks through a car wash to introduce herself to Henry — Schickler rewinds to relate their vivid and bizarre backstories. Myriad off-kilter characters are entwined in the trajectory of Henry and Grace's month-long romance, including Grace's club-footed, treehouse-building classmate; the smarmy radio evangelist who deflowered her when she was 15 while whispering 'God's will'; and the vengeful Chicago mobster who happens to be Henry's boss. Delightfully but believably nutty, Grace and Henry each have a precisely modulated moral code and a sense of honor forged in the weirdness and tragedy of their respective pasts. Though their largely innocent misadventure — think Bonnie and Clyde as it might have been written by Tom Robbins — comes to a somewhat disappointingly tidy conclusion, the ride is more than worth the price of entry. Agent, Jennifer Carlson. (Sept. 7)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"[A] totally cracked, lushly written, but (as its title suggests) zanily uneven first novel....At times the book careers like a car without the brakes, but Schickler spins sentences in a way that keeps you in your seat. (Grade: B)" Entertainment Weekly
"Sweet and Vicious is impressive: it has a sharp wit and a sustained edge. But it works as a string of short-story anecdotes rather than an overarching novel. [The] book's biggest ambitions seem more tacked-on than innate." Janet Maslin, The New York Times
"[Q]uirky, sexy, ironic, raw and darkly romantic....[B]eneath it all, Sweet and Vicious is a rollicking but tender love story, an exuberantly told modern fairy tale without a tidy ending." The Oregonian
"[E]nchanting....Serious fun and a rare, rich feast for many: Schickler's unabashed use of allegory and his skillful weaving of the dark and comical make him one of the best new voices in years." Kirkus Reviews
"Schickler never manages to tease a real dilemma out of this wandering tale....
"Schickler is a rare find...he mixes love, violence, ardor, and humor in this funny and heartbreaking modern-day fable." Booklist (Starred Review)
"Sweet and Vicious is funny, cool, surprisingly and wonderfully violent, has great characters, a ridiculously beautiful love story, a perfect ending. Read it." James Frey, author of A Million Little Pieces
About the Author
David Schickler is a graduate of the Columbia University M.F.A. program. He is the author ofof Kissing in Manhattan, and his work has appeared in The New Yorker, Tin House, Zoetrope: All Story, and Travel and Leisure. He lives with his wife in New York.
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