THE HA-HA.

King, Dave.

ISBN 10: 0316156108 / ISBN 13: 9780316156103
Published by Boston: Little Brown, (2005.) dj
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About this Item

SIGNED hardcover first edition - First printing. The author's very highly praised first novel, the story of a man who has remained silent for 30 years, after suffering a severe blow to the head while he was in the Army. When he takes on the responsiblity for the 9 year old son of a friend, the ability to communicate takes on a new urgency and he is forced out of the groove he has created for himself. SIGNED on the title page. Dustjacket praise from Frederick Busch, Richard Russo (who calls this novel 'wonderfully accomplished and achingly full of heart') and others. Fine in fine dust jacket. Bookseller Inventory # 56552

Bibliographic Details

Title: THE HA-HA.

Publisher: Boston: Little Brown, (2005.) dj

Binding: Hardcover

Dust Jacket Condition: Dust Jacket Included

Signed: Signed by Author(s)

Edition: 1st Edition

About this title

Synopsis:

A debut novel of extraordinary emotional power: When a mute war veteran opens his home to a young boy, he gets a glimpse of life outside his shell--with all its exuberant joys and crushing sorrows.Its been 30 years since a Vietnam War injury left Howard Kapostash unable to speak, read, or write. Since then he can communicate only with sounds and gestures--a condition that makes him appear slow and disturbed. But inside his head, Howie is the same man he was before the war, longing for Sylvia, his high school sweetheart, and mourning his parents and his chance at a family. Howies solitude comes to an abrupt end with a desperate phone call in the middle of the night; Sylvia is being forced into rehab and needs him to care for her nine-year-old son Ryan until she returns. Though Ryans first days with Howie are strained by misunderstanding, his presence gradually transforms Howie and his entire household, which includes Laurel, a soup chef, and a pair of housepainters Howie grumpily thinks of as Nit and Nat. By midsummer, their once-cold home is alive with the happiness, disappointment, and love of a real family. But with Sylvias return imminent, Howie is obliged to wonder if the change is only temporary--and to reconsider, in the process, just what the war cost him.Triumphant and heartbreaking, THE HA-HA tells a singular and engaging story and heralds the arrival of a tremendous new voice in fiction.

Review:

Peel back the made-for-TV-movie premise of Dave King's The Ha-Ha and you'll find a shrewd, engrossing, and occasionally gritty first novel in the tradition of Jane Smiley. Howard is a brain-damaged Vietnam vet who can't speak or write, but who has managed to establish a reasonably good life in his small Midwestern hometown. In fact, Howard's chief limitation isn't his silence but his lingering romantic attachment to his high school girlfriend, Sylvia, now the drug-addicted single mother of a nine-year-old boy named Ryan (not Howard's child). Accustomed to Howard's devotion--and equally accustomed to rejecting his love, like a campfire she pees on again and again--Sylvia more or less dumps Ryan on him when she is forced to enter rehab. Yes, the handicapped vet must forge a relationship with the sullen fatherless boy. With material as Hallmark-tinged like this, it's only through vivid, honest, and far from syrupy characterization that King keeps sentimentality at bay. You can predict what happens when the gruff Howard begins to coach Little League (aw, shucks), but not his ferocious reaction to Sylvia's eventual betrayal. A skillful debut with several surprises. --Regina Marler

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