Synopses & Reviews
Fiction. In this brilliant, witty, fond burlesque of boys' adventure books, noted American novelist Gilbert Sorrentino weaves the tale of Bud, Nort, and Dick and their search for treasure in the Wild West. What makes their story so unusual is that it takes place entirely in the interrogative, and that Sorrentino's fluency with genre conventions is such that the adventurers survive this sustained rhetorical testing just as they do blistering heat, savage sandstorms, and the evil machinations of Del Pinzo and his sinister companion Zapto. When old Billee croaked out that it was a-goin' to be the killer to out-killer all killers, did Bud begin to whimper uncontrollably, like a fool woman lost in the bresh? Did he mebbe wish that he'd never heared o' desert gold? Was there, in effect, wild fear loose in this neck of the woods? Is 'neck of the woods' an example of a thwarted ekphrasis? Many of Gilbert Sorrentino's other books, including ORANGERY and THE SKY CHANGES, are also available from SPD.
The most recent novel by the noted American novelist Gilbert Sorrentino.
Three teenage boys, Nort and Dick Shannon and their friend, Bud Merkel, find themselves in the middle of the forbidding Gila Desert on an adventure that will, they hope, lead them to the fabled riches of desert gold. Their guides, the grizzled prospector, Hank Crosby, and the leathery old cowpoke, Billee Dobb, accompany them through blistering heat, savage sandstorms, and the dangers posed by the evil Del Pinzo and his sinister Indian companion, Zapto, men who want the treasure for themselves. In this brilliant, witty, yet fond burlesque of the boys' adventure books, Sorrentino tells the story in interrogative sentences, forcing the reading to answer the very questions of the narrative itself.
Gilbert Sorrentino teaches at Stanford University.
About the Author
A luminary of American literature, Gilbert Sorrentino was a boyhood friend of Hubert Selby, Jr., a confidant of William Carlos Williams, a two-time PEN/Faulkner Award finalist, and the recipient of a Lannan Literary Lifetime Achievement Award. He taught at Stanford for many years before returning to his native Brooklyn and published over thirty books before his death in 2006.