Love and Obits (Contemporary American Fiction)

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9780140175691: Love and Obits (Contemporary American Fiction)

At 33, Joseph Burke knows something about passion. His wife got him started, but that was before his passivity and her peccadilloes encouraged her departure - the first in a series of reversals that left him teetering on the edge of a spectacular fall. By the author of "The Best There Ever Was".

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From Kirkus Reviews:

Joseph Burke is a Washington, D.C., newspaperman stuck back writing obits, an eternal penance for a years-earlier indiscretion with the wife of a senator he was profiling for the magazine section, a mistake that unfortunately hit the gossip columns. Divorced, living with his father Woody in a decrepit neighborhood (Woody's in a wheelchair, claiming not to be able to walk after an auto accident that killed his wife and Joseph's mother), Joseph's going nowhere fast. But then the new widow of a renowned Capitol restaurateur crosses paths with him (even in death Burke finds connection with his female sources)--and there's hope. Bradley (Tupelo Nights, 1988; The Best There Ever Was, 1990) plays an often reckless game of chicken with sentimentality--which half the time makes him fun to read. The women here all are cartoons, excessively puffed out with either adorable or viperish personalities; and the men--father Woody, Joseph's best pals and co-workers Mac and Alfred, the corrupt editor-in-chief of the paper--sometimes seem mere vehicles for wry comebacks and oblique philosophizing. But the book also, in its relaxed and looping way, paints an endearing portrait of very unendearing Washington, and is imbued with the anxieties (and even, amazingly, comedies) of AIDS- era sex and romance. Very much a mixed-bag, then: a series of long shaggy-dog stories, some first-rate. -- Copyright ©1991, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

From Library Journal:

His newspaper career is in decline, his marriage dissolved, his mother dead and his father partially paralyzed in a car accident, but Joseph Burke still has his looks, though his life is a shambles. Relegated to "Death Row" (the Siberia of the Wash ington Herald newsroom) because he slept with a source who was the wife of a distinguished senator, Burke, at 33, writes nothing but obituaries. Will his father, who's smitten with a married Salvadoran nurse, walk again? Will love blossom with Laura, lovely widow of a prominent restaurateur whose obit he wrote? And just how closely does art follow life in this third novel ( Tupelo Nights, LJ 5/1/88; The Best There Ever Was, LJ /9/1/90) by former Washington Post staff writer Bradley? Despite some engaging moments in this offbeat story, Burke is not a character one cares much about, and capital intrigue is not enough to carry it.
-Michele Leber, Fairfax Cty. P.L., Va.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Published by Penguin Books (1993)
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John Bradley (Editor)
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