Slouching Towards Kalamazoo (Import)

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9780140070705: Slouching Towards Kalamazoo (Import)

It is 1963 in an unnamed town in North Dakota, and Anthony Thrasher is languishing for a second year in eighth grade. Prematurely sophisticated, young Anthony spends too much time reading Joyce, Eliot, and Dylan Thomas but not enough time studying the War of 1812 or obtuse triangles. A tutor is hired, and this "modern Hester Prynne" offers Anthony lessons that ultimately free him from eighth grade and situate her on the cusp of the American sexual revolution. Anthony's restless adolescent voice is perfectly suited to De Vries's blend of erudite wit and silliness—not to mention his fascination with both language and female anatomy—and it propels Slouching Towards Kalamazoo through theological debates and quandaries both dermatological and ethical, while soaring on the De Vriesian hallmark of scrambling conventional wisdom for comic effect.

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About the Author:

Peter De Vries (1910–1993), the man responsible for contributing to the cultural vernacular such witticisms as "Nostalgia ain't what it used to be" and "Deep down, he's shallow," was, according to Kingsley Amis, "the funniest serious writer to be found on either side of the Atlantic." But De Vries's life and work was informed as much by sorrow as by wit, and that dynamic is nowhere better seen than in his classics Slouching Towards Kalamazoo and The Blood of the Lamb. First published in 1982 and 1965, respectively, these novels reemerge with their sharp satire and biting pain undiluted by time.

Review:

"With luck, a writer capable of producing both Slouching Towards Kalamazoo and The Blood of the Lamb will not remain unappreciated for long."

(Adam Kirsch New York Sun)

"The fine cutting edge of his comic vision comes, as always, from the sense that there is hell to pay." (Paul Gray Time)

"Anyone who has never read him could perhaps find no better place to start than with [Slouching towards Kalamazoo]. . . . It is vintage De Vries." (Thomas Meehan New York Times)

“De Vries was an editor at Poetry magazine, a staff writer at The New Yorker, and the author of some two dozen of the wittiest novels you’ll ever read, including the masterworks The Blood of the Lamb and Slouching Toward Kalamazoo, as well as The Tunnel of Love and Reuben, Reuben, just resurrected in handsome paperback by the University of Chicago Press. . . . Only those with a consummate lack of cleverness wield the word ‘clever’ as an insult, and De Vries demonstrates just how much can be done with a creative intelligence charged by the clever and satirical and ironic. Let us now praise those saints at the University of Chicago Press who possess the smarts and good taste to return to print a peerless American maestro of wit.” (William Giraldi The Millions)

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Peter DeVries
Published by Penguin Books (1984)
ISBN 10: 0140070702 ISBN 13: 9780140070705
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DeVries, Peter
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