Landon J. Napoleon ZigZag: A Novel

ISBN 13: 9780805060485

ZigZag: A Novel

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9780805060485: ZigZag: A Novel
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A picaresque first novel about a strange and lovable fifteen-year-old African-American boy whose innocence triumphs over all adversity.

To read this novel is to enter into the mind and life of one of the most unusual characters to appear in recent fiction. ZigZag is a fifteen-year-old boy who may be mentally handicapped, but his uncanny ability with numbers and sort of sixth sense about people's motives more than make up for any shortcomings. He has recently escaped from the clutches of his abusive and neglectful father and sps most of his time with a big-hearted social worker named Singer, who at age twenty-six is battling cancer, even as he attempts to mentor ZigZag in the basic survival skills. Events take an ominous turn when ZigZag uses his special "powers" to unlock the safe at the restaurant where he works as a dishwasher and naively removes some money. At Singer's insistence ZigZag plots how to discreetly return the money, a complicated task that turns into a comedy of errors when he strikes up a friendship with a sympathetic hooker who recognizes his innocence. Their unlikely friendship and rollicking escapades will put a smile on the face of even the most jaded reader. Full of charm and youthful exuberance, ZigZag marks the auspicious debut of an engaging new writer.

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About the Author:

Landon J. Napoleon is a graduate of the University of Glasgow in Scotland and Arizona State University in Tempe, Arizona, where he makes his home. This is his first novel.

From Kirkus Reviews:

A remarkable debut portraying the inner life of a disturbed ghetto teenager as he attempts to grow up in the frightening world hes inherited. Louis Fletcher, alias ZigZag, is one of those charmed unfortunates who appear so forlorn and helpless that they can get away with murderliterally. Ostensibly mentally retarded, ZigZag works as a dishwasher and lives with his abusive father, who shakes him down for cash and continually reminds him that he killed his own mother during childbirth. In actuality Louis isnt retarded but autistic, with a phenomenal memory and grasp of mathematics, although, at 15, he does lack the most basic understanding of social behavior and verbal communication. Hes looked after by Dean Singer, his Big Brother from a local welfare agency, who takes him on outings and tries to get him placed in a safer home than his fathers. When ZigZags father threatens to throw him out on the street unless he comes up with $200 to pay the rent, the boy memorizes the combination of his bosss safe and steals $5,000. Singer discovers whats happened and tries to retrieve the money before ZigZag is arrested, but ZigZags father takes the whole packet and uses it to pay back a loan shark. So now Singer must borrow money himself to keep ZigZag out of trouble. The result? He almost gets both ZigZag and himself into even worse trouble when he tries to replace the loot in the safe. Soon the detectives are dusting for fingerprints, the safe is still empty, and Singer is going to get some bones broken unless he comes up with a way of making the loan-sharks weekly vig. A hopeless scenario? Well, God upholds the foolish, innocence is often mistaken for ignorance, and in the end its ZigZag who looks after Singer in the first of many role-reversals that twist through this marvelously intricate tale. An unaffected, moving, and astonishing insight into the heart of a troubled, silent genius. -- Copyright ©1999, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9781440118036: ZigZag

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ISBN 10:  1440118035 ISBN 13:  9781440118036
Publisher: iUniverse, 2009
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9780747542728: Zigzag

Blooms..., 1999
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9780747545149: Zigzag

Blooms..., 2000
Softcover

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