Star Wars Sale
 
 

Special Offers see all

Enter to WIN!

Weekly drawing for $100 credit. Subscribe to PowellsBooks.news for a chance to win.
Privacy Policy

More at Powell's


Recently Viewed clear list


Original Essays | June 20, 2014

Lisa Howorth: IMG So Many Books, So Many Writers



I'm not a bookseller, but I'm married to one, and Square Books is a family. And we all know about families and how hard it is to disassociate... Continue »
  1. $18.20 Sale Hardcover add to wish list

    Flying Shoes

    Lisa Howorth 9781620403013

spacer
Qualifying orders ship free.
$2.50
List price: $14.95
Used Trade Paper
Ships in 1 to 3 days
Add to Wishlist
Qty Store Section
3 Beaverton Literature- A to Z

This title in other editions

A Changed Man (P.S.)

by

A Changed Man (P.S.) Cover

 

 

Excerpt

Chapter One

Nolan pulls into the parking garage, braced for the Rican attendant with the cojones big enough to make a point of wondering what this rusted hunk of Chevy pickup junk is doing in Jag-u-ar City. But the ticket-spitting machine doesn't much care what Nolan's driving. It lifts its arm, like a benediction, like the hand of God dividing the Red Sea. Nolan passes a dozen empty spots and drives up to the top level, where he turns in beside a dusty van that hasn't been anywhere lately. He grabs his duffel bag, jumps out, inhales, filling his lungs with damp cement-y air. So far, so good, he likes the garage. He wishes he could stay here. He finds the stairwell where he would hide were he planning a mugging, corkscrews down five flights of stairs, and plunges into the honking inferno of midafternoon Times Square.

He's never seen it this bad. A giant mosh pit with cars. Just walking demands concentration, like driving in heavy traffic. He remembers the old Times Square on those righteous long-ago weekends when he and his high school friends took the bus into the city to get hammered and eyeball the hookers. He's read about the new Disneyfied theme park Times Squareland, but that's way more complicated than what he needs to deal with right now, which is navigating without plowing into some little old lady. A fuzzball of pure pressure expands inside his chest, stoked by patches of soggy shirt, clinging to his rib cage.

It's eighty, maybe eighty-five, and he's the only guy in New York wearing a long-sleeved jersey. All the white men seem to be running personal air conditioners inside their fancy Italian suits, unlike the blacks and Latinos, who have already soaked through their T-shirts. What does that make Nolan? The only white guy sweating. The only human of any kind gagging from exhaust fumes. While Nolan's been off in the boondocks with his friends and their Aryan Homeland wet dream, an alien life-form has evolved in the nation's cities, a hybrid species bred to survive on dog piss and carbon monoxide. Nolan needs to stop thinking that way. Attitude is crucial.

Last night, at his cousin Raymond's, he'd watched the TV weatherchipmunk chirping about the heat wave, so unseasonable for April, reassuring local viewers with his records and statistics lest anyone think: Look out, global warming, the world is ending right now. Why is everyone so surprised that the planet's cutting them loose? Ecological Armageddon was just what the doctor ordered to take Nolan's mind off his own problems as he'd faced the dark hours ahead until it was time to get up and borrow Cousin Raymond's truck, his money and pills, and vanish into the ozone. Nolan's hardly slept for two weeks, ever since he decided to turn. Two Xanax did nothing to stop his lab-rat brain from racing from one micro-detail to another.

Like, for example, sleeve length. Should he hide the tattoos? Or just wear a T-shirt and let them do the talking? If one picture's worth a thousand words, that's the first two thousand right there, two thousand minus the hi howareya nicetameetcha. Which was one reason to get the tats: cut through a load of hot air. On the other hand, strolling into the office of World Brotherhood Watch with Waffen-SS bolts on one bicep and a death's-head on the other might make it harder for Nolan to get his point across — let's say, if the people he's talking to are hiding under their desks. Nolan wouldn't blame them. It hasn't been all that long since that lone-wolf lunatic in L.A. shot up the Jewish temple preschool.

In any case, it's going to be tough, explaining what he's doing at Brotherhood Watch, especially since Nolan himself isn't exactly sure. There are some . . . practical issues involved with stealing Raymond's truck plus the fifteen hundred bucks that, if you want to be literal, belongs to the Aryan Resistance Movement. But there's more to it than that. If it were just a question of disappearing and starting over, Nolan could have some fun. Sell SUVs in Palm Springs, deal blackjack in Las Vegas. Go to Disney World, put on a Goofy suit, let toddlers fuck with his head.

What he'd really like to do is give every man, woman, and child in the world the exact same hit of Ecstasy, the same tiny candy, pink as a kitten's tongue, that managed to turn his head around, or more precisely, to give his head a little — well, a fairly big — push in the direction it was already headed. But that's not going to happen, free Ex for the human race, so maybe the next best thing is to help other people find a more gradual route to the place where the Ex took Nolan.

Meanwhile, he knows that thinking like this will only get in his way. He'll stay cooler if he convinces himself that he's just interviewing for a job.

Has it only been two weeks since Nolan finally made up his mind? A long two weeks of trying to figure it out, even — especially — after he knew how he was going to do it.

No one promised it would be easy. But Nolan has prepared. He's read up, starting with two books by Meyer Maslow, the founder and current head of the World Brotherhood Watch Foundation. He actually went out and ordered them through the bookstore in the mall. The first book, The Kindness of Strangers — Maslow's tribute to the people who saved his life when he was on the run from the Nazis — was what made Nolan begin to think that maybe his plan could work.

For balance, Nolan has also been reading The Way of the Warrior, a paperback he took from the tire shop, borrowed from the backseat of a Ford Expedition some yuppie brought in for the Firestone recall.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780060560034
Subtitle:
A Novel
Author:
Prose, Francine
Author:
by Francine Prose
Publisher:
Harper Perennial
Location:
New York
Subject:
General
Subject:
Holocaust survivors
Subject:
Teenage boys
Subject:
Psychological fiction
Subject:
Suburban life
Subject:
Change
Subject:
New York
Subject:
White supremacy movements
Subject:
Domestic fiction
Subject:
Divorced mothers
Subject:
Human rights workers
Subject:
Neo-Nazis.
Subject:
General Fiction
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Subject:
Literary
Copyright:
Edition Number:
1st ed.
Edition Description:
Trade PB
Series:
P.S.
Series Volume:
108-437
Publication Date:
20060228
Binding:
Paperback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
448
Dimensions:
9 x 6 x 0.375 in 7.68 oz

Other books you might like

  1. Saturday
    Used Trade Paper $2.50
  2. Never Let Me Go Used Trade Paper $4.95
  3. The History of Love: A Novel
    Used Trade Paper $2.95
  4. Acceptance Used Trade Paper $5.95
  5. The Corrections
    Used Hardcover $4.95
  6. Like You'd Understand, Anyway: Stories
    Used Hardcover $8.95

Related Subjects

Featured Titles » Bestsellers
Featured Titles » Funny Book Sale
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

A Changed Man (P.S.) Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$2.50 In Stock
Product details 448 pages Harper Perennial - English 9780060560034 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Prose (Blue Angel; The Lives of the Muses) tests assumptions about class, hatred and the possibility of change in her latest novel, a good-natured satire of liberal pieties, the radical right and the fund-raising world. The 'changed man' of the title is Vincent Nolan, a 32-year-old tattooed ex-skinhead who appears one morning in the New York offices of World Brotherhood Watch, a foundation headed by Meyer Maslow, a Holocaust survivor. Vincent declares that he has had a personal conversion (never mind that it was triggered by a heavy dose of Ecstasy) and wants to work with the foundation to 'save guys like me from becoming guys like me.' Meyer takes Vincent on faith — and convinces Bonnie Kalen, the foundation's fund-raiser, to put Vincent up in the suburban home she shares with her two sons, Max, 12, and Danny, 16. Prose tears into this unusual premise with the piercing wit that has become her trademark. Vincent becomes a media darling of sorts, and everyone wants a piece of him: the liberal donors and the television talk shows; Meyer, a figurehead so celebrated that even his close friends kiss up to him; and maybe even divorced Bonnie, who finds herself drawn to Vincent's charms. In more hostile pursuit of Vincent is his cousin Raymond, a member of the Aryan Resistance Movement, from which Vincent stole a truck, drugs and cash. In these circumstances, can a man truly change? And what is change — not only for Vincent but for the other principals as well? Prose doesn't shy away from exposing the vanities and banalities behind the drive to do good. Fortunately, her characters are sturdy enough to bear the weight of the baggage she piles on them. Her lively skewering of a whole cross-section of society ensures that this tale hits comic high notes even as it probes serious issues. Agent, Denise Shannon. (Mar. 3) Forecast: A Changed Man is less didactic than Blue Angel and is set on a broader stage, which should broaden its appeal, too. Six-city author tour." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review A Day" by , "If A Changed Man is satire, then so are lots of other things, including Anna Karenina, Middlemarch and Our Mutual Friend. I'm not suggesting that this novel is playing quite in that league, but I am suggesting that Prose is striving for the same kind of large-scale social portraiture, and that her desire to capture contemporary Americans, with all their internal contradictions, solipsism and general screwed-upness, is guided more by the spirit of compassion than by that of mockery." (read the entire Salon.com review)
"Review" by , "Francine Prose has come up with such a diabolical man-walks-into-a-room premise that her new novel...is awash in evil glee.... The combined effects of culture shock and sharp-eyed satire make this a mercilessly funny premise."
"Review" by , "A Changed Man reads like a mildly diverting romance suitable as script material for a Lifetime cable movie....But if A Changed Man fails on authenticity, it succeeds on melodramatic readability."
"Review" by , "Prose deftly alternates between multiple narrative characters, a tour de force even though her empathy is uneven....Humor is an extraordinary gift. Pitted against the sorrows and injustices life inevitably flings, it is a fierce tool and Prose uses its ferocity to the fullest."
"Review" by , "Clever Prose blends her caustic sensibilities with unforgettable characters....Prose's sense of humor is as keen as ever.... Life shifts for everyone in this remarkable novel. Maybe it will shift for you, too. Brace yourself."
"Review" by , "A Changed Man is the title of Francine Prose's novel of energetic exploration, cool irony and sheer — I might almost say shameless — suspense....[A] novel of ideas, and provocative ones."
"Review" by , "Prose creates a warm and busy microcosm of erring and atoning....[S]he also conjures a particular, sharply drawn universe of liberal-leaning New Yorkers who don't always behave well in the process of doing good — all of them redeemed by her amused, caring touch. (Grade: A)"
"Review" by , "Francine Prose is back with a powerful new novel about the possibility of starting over."
"Review" by , "By the end of this fabulous novel, Prose's fierce intelligence, brilliant storytelling, and sharp characterization will not only provoke her readers into the oohs and aahs of recognition but will also offer them something profound."
"Review" by , "This book has it all: great characters, dark humor, a racing plot and important themes. I don't think you can ask for much more than that."
"Review" by , "An edgy, riveting tale, one of Prose's most interesting."
"Review" by , "[R]iotously funny....Like novelist Richard Russo, Prose uses humor to light up key social issues, to skewer smugness, and to create characters whose flaws only add to their depth and richness. This may well be Prose's best novel to date."
"Synopsis" by , What is charismatic Holocaust survivor Meyer Maslow to think when a rough-looking young neo-Nazi named Vincent Nolan walks into the Manhattan office of Maslow's human rights foundation and declares that he wants to "save guys like me from becoming guys like me"? As Vincent gradually turns into the sort of person who might actually be able to do this, he also transforms those around him: Meyer Maslow, who fears heroism has become a desk job; the foundation's dedicated fund-raiser, Bonnie Kalen, an appealingly vulnerable divorced single mother; and even Bonnie's teenage son.

Francine Prose's A Changed Man is a darkly comic and masterfully inventive novel that poses essential questions about human nature, morality, and the capacity for personal reinvention.

spacer
spacer
  • back to top
Follow us on...




Powell's City of Books is an independent bookstore in Portland, Oregon, that fills a whole city block with more than a million new, used, and out of print books. Shop those shelves — plus literally millions more books, DVDs, and gifts — here at Powells.com.