All the Little Live Things (Contemporary American Fiction) by Wallace Stegner

By Wallace Stegner

Joe Allston, the retired literary agent of Stegner's nationwide booklet Award-winning novel, The Spectator poultry, returns during this disquieting and keenly saw novel. Scarred by means of the mindless loss of life in their son and baffled through the engulfing chaos of the Sixties, Allston and his spouse, Ruth, have left the coast for a California retreat. And even supposing their new domestic appears like Eden, it additionally has serpents: Jim Peck, a messianic exponent of gear, yoga, and intercourse; and Marian Catlin, an enticing younger lady whose otherworldly innocence is much extra appealing—and way more risky.

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He said he knew where he could borrow’a Coleman stove, and anyway he wouldn’t be cooking much, he ate mainly nuts and fruit. “Boy oh boy,” I said. “What is it, a sanyasi withdrawal? ” He looked at me, I thought, in surprise. Whatever his costume and the condition of his toilet, there was an elegance in the way one eyebrow went up. ” “God Almighty,” I said. ” “Let’s see,” I said, and began counting him out on my fingers. “You’d go into your spiritual retirement in a factory-made, chemically waterproofed tent.

The leaves that a few days before had been green now drooped like heat-withered cellophane. Along the branches, here and there, were the browning wisps of blossoms that the tree had frantically put out when the gopher began working on its roots. Before I even saw that it had begun, it was finished. Trying to produce flower and fruit and complete its cycle within a few days and way out of season, the tree was dead without knowing it. The sore sense of guilt that I felt told me I should have done something.

And along the top and down the right side, tying grin and guts together with a sweeping S curve that was pure dynamic symmetry, the nine-inch tail of a wood rat. Undoubtedly it was Catarrh’s best to date—Neotoma fuscipes was his masterpiece. He sat in the entry in the sun, washing himself and waiting for compliments, and he made no objection when I lifted the mat at arm’s length and hurried around the house with it. He understands that his art, like a Navaho sand painting, should not survive the hour of its creation.

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