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Now and at the Hour

Martin Drapkin

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ISBN 10: 1608440788 / ISBN 13: 9781608440788
Published by Dog Ear Publishing, LLC, 2009
New Condition: New Soft cover
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Bibliographic Details

Title: Now and at the Hour

Publisher: Dog Ear Publishing, LLC

Publication Date: 2009

Binding: Paperback

Book Condition: New

About this title

Synopsis:

Billy Malsavage, a young aide, is shocked at the scared look in twelve-year-old Ricky's eyes when the boy is wheeled into B Ward, victim of a serious brain injury suffered in a football game. Ricky can't walk or talk, but his intelligence is unaffected. Buddy also feels sorry for Ricky. A fifty-four-year-old man with cerebral palsy, he too is trapped in a body that doesn't work well, but his mind is fine. As the months pass, the three grow closer. Billy has his own inner demons, but does what he can to make Ricky feel better, less scared, among the residents of the ward, most of whom have severe or profound mental retardation. He reads to Ricky and Buddy and shows Laurel and Hardy movies. Buddy does what he can to befriend Ricky. As Ricky weakens and his physical condition worsens, he turns to his Catholic faith for solace. But can his faith help him in his desperation? Can anything?
This is a novel about three isolated people who struggle to connect with others and to find some meaning, and maybe even salvation, in their lives. Billy, who has been working in B Ward for about a year, right after graduating from high school, is a reclusive loner who left home and his "whacko" parents as soon as he could. Buddy lived on the farm with his folks and then with just his brother and sister-in-law until they could no longer care for him and he had to be institutionalized. He hates enduring the indignities of being helpless, and longs for heaven. Ricky, until his terrible accident, was a normal kid living at home with his parents and sisters, playing sports and hanging out with his friends.
At first, Ricky finds many of the residents bizarre or frightening. There's Gramps, the oldest person with Down syndrome in the state, and his twisted-up little friend Timmy, who spend most of each day holding hands. There's sullen Arnie, who always wears his stars and stripes hard hat and studies lingerie catalogs. There's annoying Larry the Whacker and little Davey, who scoots around the floor on his back and dusts the legs of cribs with a washcloth. But as time goes on, Ricky grows more used to them.
When Ricky's condition takes a turn for the worse, Buddy and Billy feel helpless and worried. Will he get better? What if he doesn't? In his lonely hospital room, Ricky silently says his prayers and misses his friends.

Now and at the Hour is Marty Drapkin's first published work of fiction. He's written and published nonfiction books and articles in his professional field, having to do with county jail operations. He is a self-described faceless bureaucrat laboring unappreciated for an obscure state government agency-the proverbial man in the gray flannel suit, leading a life of quiet desperation.
Marty and his wife, Erica, live in Cross Plains, Wisconsin, with a motley crew of dogs and cats, all of whom have issues. He has a grown daughter who lives in Seattle and doesn't mind the rain.

Cover art by Lynn Wells

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