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- Published on Amazon.com
Rodney, a thirty-something year old man who has not yet fully grown up, is in a bit of a holding pattern at the moment. Six weeks ago, he lost his job in 'corporate communications' for Talbott's when he wrote a speech for the CEO of the company and missed what proved to be a very embarrassing typo, and his search for a new job can hardly be called serious. On the personal side, his best friend Keith is moving to Chicago to get married and start a new job. But happily, there is still one constant in his life, his favorite neighborhood bar, Boyle's.
"Rodney has read a book called The Great Good Place, by an urban sociologist named Ray Oldenburg, who coined the phrase "the third place" to describe informal public gathering spaces-bars- that are neither home nor job. Rodney had no work and home was a way station, where he kept his books and his bed. For him, bars were his first. Home was the second. There was no third."
Yes, Boyle's plays a very important role in his life and in this book, but it is not the only thing. He has all those books...
"He kept every book he has ever read. Until there were just too many, he had them all on shelves, their spines displayed as trophies, like the taxidermied heads of big game he had bagged."
And now he has met a smart, beautiful woman, Mairead, "rhymes with parade", who shared his love of wordy banter...oh yes, it may be love!
On the surface, this book is a glimpse into Rodney's life and the love triangle he is caught in, between his bar and this delightful woman he has just met. While that is a fine story, with some very amusing incidents, the real attraction for this reader is Rodney's love of words...palindromes and witty banter, puns and spoonerisms, and endless examples of amusing trivia.
"Some people have a mind like a steel trap. Rodney had a mind like a lint trap. It retained only useless fluff: batting averages, ancient jingles, a slogan glimpsed once, years ago, on the side of a panel van, for an exterminator ("We'll Make Your Ants Say Uncle") or a window treatment specialist ("A Couple of Blind Guys") or a septic tank specialist ("Doody Calls")."
A man who love crossword puzzles and puns, who actually reads books and, most of all, could write an essay on what makes a good pint of Guinness...he may just be the perfect man...lol
While this is Rushin's first novel, he is a very experienced writer. After graduating from college in 1988, he joined the staff of Sports Illustrated, where he was a senior writer until 2007. He has written three previous non-fiction books, including The Caddie Was a Reindeer, which was a semifinalist in 2004 for the Thurber Prize for American Humor. I suspect there is a bit of an autobiographical element to this book, at least in his love of Guinness and banter. I find Mr. Rushin a very amusing writer and I thoroughly enjoyed this wordy romp of a novel.