Modern Literature David Gates Jernigan

ISBN 13: 9780679402374

Jernigan

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9780679402374: Jernigan

From Holden Caulfield to Moses Herzog, our best literature has been narrated by malcontents. To this lineage add Peter Jernigan, who views the world with ferocious intelligence, grim rapture, and a chainsaw wit that he turns, with disastrous consequences, on his wife, his teenaged son, his dangerously vulnerable mistress—and, not least of all, on himself. This novel is a bravura performance: a funny, scary, mesmerizing study of a man walking off the edge with his eyes wide open—wisecracking all the way.

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About the Author:

David Gates writes about books and music for Newsweek. He lives in New York City and in a small town upstate.

From Publishers Weekly:

Peter Jernigan is an LSD-popping alcoholic whose drunken wife killed herself in a bizarre accident. Living on gin and irony, taking refuge in Wallace Stevens or William Burroughs, he gets fired from his job in New York City but almost manages to convince himself that he's a responsible father to his confused teenage son, Danny, a rock guitarist. Jernigan's emotional numbness continues when he moves in with Martha, a single mother who raises rabbits in the basement of her New Jersey home, then shoots and devours them. The action in this depressing first novel is framed by a Fourth of July and a white Christmas. But instead of all-American families we get adolescent suicide, wife beating, addiction, divorce and a powerful portrait of two generations unable to communicate with each other. Gates's tale lags in momentum as his self-pitying narrator, insisting that he's functional even as he increasingly loses touch with reality, fails to confront the guilt, rage and self-hate lurking within himself.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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