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Wally Lamb


” But ‘Josephus Jones: An American Original’ is a flop. The local paper, which is usually supportive of our museum shows, declines to publish either a feature story or a review. At the opening, instead of the usual two hundred or so, fewer than twenty people attend. Not even Angus and thel Skloot have come; they are on holiday in Florida. It’s painful to watch the Jones brothers scuff the toes of their shined shoes against the gallery’s hardwood floor and eye the entranceway with fading hope. Both have purchased sharp double-breasted suits for this special occasion, and Rufus’s Dutch-born wife has apparently bought new clothes, too: a sparkly, low-cut cocktail frock more suitable for an evening at a New York supper club than a Sunday afternoon art opening in staid Three Rivers, Connecticut. Worst yet, she has neglected to remove the tag from her dress, and I have to instruct my secretary, Miss Sheflott, to go upstairs to her desk, retrieve her scissors, and discreetly escort young Mrs. Jones out into the foyer for the purpose of clipping her tag. Later, Miss Sheflott tells me she tucked the tag inside the dress rather than removing it. Mrs. Jones has confided that she can’t afford it and is planning to return it to the LaFrance Shop on Monday. “

I have no set reading goal but am aware to pop cherries for some authors. Tom Wolfe has been one and now Wally Lamb. This is his latest book, We Are Water, to be released in the fall. The writing is absorbing, the story epic in scope and this quoted passage is only the prologue and bears little relationship to the story to be told at large.


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