"[S]o sturdy that just about any novel you learn instantly after it's going to appear a minimum of slightly posturing." ―Jonathan Franzen
No James Purdy novel has dazzled modern writers greater than this haunting story of unrequited love in an detached international. A seedy depression-era boarding residence in Chicago performs host to "a video game of emotional chairs" (The Guardian) in a singular first and foremost condemned for its frank depiction of abortion, homosexuality, and existence at the margins of yank society. A forged of characters displaced by means of fiscal misery congeal round the embittered poet Eustace Chisholm, who acts as a whatever of a Greek refrain for the doomed and damaging dating that's instigated while landlord Daniel Haws falls in love with younger university scholar Amos Ratcliffe. construction to a stunning end, Eustace Chisholm and the Works is a depressing and gothic examine the unusual and negative energy of affection amid a "psychic American panorama of deluded innocence, sexual obsession, violence, and isolation" (William Grimes, New York Times).
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Additional info for Eustace Chisholm and the Works: A Novel
Who the hell brought you men to each other? I suggest particularly brought you. I’m now not conversing now approximately you two’s assembly at previous Daniel’s fuck-roost, for those who have been all so pie-eyed you didn’t comprehend who placed what up who! ” Amos and Reuben exchanged seems to be of entertainment combined with pitying contempt for Maureen. “I acknowledged strip! ” Maureen yelled. “It’s all right,” Reuben passed Amos the undies, with hands trembling. “We’ll shut our eyes if you positioned those on,” he extra. Amos took the lingerie and laid it on a chair close to him. as though to plunge into an icy pool, he speedily took off all his previous outfits, and too decided to get all of it over with, did not detect that Maureen and Reuben didn't preserve their promise to not glance. “It brings again to me in some way our stopover at to outdated Beaufort Vance, yet why, seek me! ” Maureen appealed to Amos who, as she accomplished talking, used to be bare as a robin, and the guts of all eyes. “Get a load of that complexion,” Maureen nudged Reuben. “And that lovable rosy little pecker. That’s a pecker for the lads to head for, strictly no longer for women like me . . . ” all at once, she had leaned down and kissed it. emerging up, she driven Reuben towards Amos. “Maureen! ” Reuben protested faintly, together with his air of what she referred to as front-family etiquette. “Maureen is right,” she warned Reuben. “This is my get together for you, you dummy, and so each person acquired to do like me! That’s an order. ” “It’s okay, Mr. Masterson,” Amos, waxen, echoed Reuben’s personal prior reassuring word to him. “Now step into that thirty-dollar lingerie, for Christ’s sake,” Maureen exhorted in a tone so astringent that Amos gaped at her. even if Reuben had simply poured himself one other double shot of gin, he appeared either extra sober and significantly shaken. placing down his glass, he held the trousers of the recent darkish blue swimsuit for Amos to step into. no longer liking the glide issues have been taking, Maureen stepped over to her transportable phonograph and became on a fat Waller checklist very loud. while she got here again to her occasion site visitors, Reuben was once simply aiding Amos into his jacket. “Well, who will we have right here? ” Maureen exclaimed, really shocked. certainly no one famous Amos to any extent further, now not even Amos. His associates prompt him to examine himself in a wide cracked vintage replicate which Maureen saved on the some distance finish of her room, and he gazed with no trust on the individual mirrored there, a lot as though the unknown reflected formative years could all at once step out and confront him. “Talk approximately comin’ into your own,” Maureen cried, beside herself. “Reubie, you’ll by no means marry me now, will you? ” She broke into offended laughter. “You’ve grew to become that little ragamuffin right into a fairy prince! Christ, allow me glance clear of him or i would harm my retina! ” She kissed Amos, even though, conscientiously on his cheek and ear. “Honey, you’re nonetheless approximately as fresh as a chimney-sweep. I wager you haven’t scraped the wax from your ears because you left your place city. And them fingernails . . . We should scrub our pickups, you and me, Reubie, earlier than we clothing them so wealthy. Baby,” she became back to Amos, “now you’ve come into your country, bear in mind pricey outdated Maureen who first brought you to the higher crust.