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The Wasties

Reuss, Frederick

50 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0375420711 / ISBN 13: 9780375420719
Published by Pantheon Books, New York, New York, U.S.A., 2002
New Condition: New Hardcover
From Shadetree Rare Books (Chatham, VA, U.S.A.)

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About this Item

Signed, First Edition. New hardcover book with New DJ. "Humane, funny, and deeply affecting, 'The Wasties' is a satiric work of unique vision and voice about one man whose infantilization plays out a secret fantasy many of us share: to shun the responsibilities of life as an adult." Size: 8vo - over 7¾" - 9¾" tall. Bookseller Inventory # N3858

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Bibliographic Details

Title: The Wasties

Publisher: Pantheon Books, New York, New York, U.S.A.

Publication Date: 2002

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:New

Dust Jacket Condition: New

Signed: Signed by Author

Edition: First Edition.

About this title


The Wasties is a compassionate, darkly comic novel about a man who is slowly losing his ability to understand the adult world.

In Frederick Reuss’s highly praised novels, Henry of Atlantic City and Horace Afoot, we have the stories of people who find themselves strangely isolated from everyone around them. In The Wasties, Reuss takes us to a new level, giving us the story of Michael “Caruso” Taylor, a man who has lost his ability to speak and is gradually reverting to infancy. All of his most intimate relationships are redefined: His wife, Gina, must assume the role of mother; his day nurse becomes his nanny; and “Caruso” is reduced to drinking tomato juice through sippy straws and observing the world from a radically skewed perspective. Once a professor of literature, Michael’s predicament is compounded by a deteriorating memory of his adult self, and he begins to “see” the famous—and often dead—denizens of his former learning in everyone from a bum in the park to a doctor in the hospital. Walt Whitman, John Muir, Ralph Ellison, and a host of others materialize before him as he tries to comprehend and articulate his plight. He calls his condition “the wasties”—but what kind of malady is it? Physical? Psychological? Or some sort of higher madness?

Humane, funny, and deeply affecting, The Wasties is a satiric work of unique vision and voice about one man whose infantilization plays out a secret fantasy many of us share: to shun the responsibilities of life as an adult.

From the Back Cover:

"Reuss has written a compelling story of a man's spiraling journey inward to an altered mental state.... hilariously on the mark." --St. Louis Post-Dispatch

"The Wasties is one of the most interesting...books of the year." --Rocky Mountain News

“Caruso’s observations are by turns hilarious and devastating, and even as he gradually losses his sanity, they often ring true.” --Washingtonian Magazine

"Reuss has finesse. He is able to evoke suffering and loneliness--especially as it is felt by Caruso's wife--but plays them as background tones in a monologue dominated by Caruso's bright, vibrant voice." --New York Sun
From the Trade Paperback edition.

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Shadetree Rare Books specializes in British, American and Classical literature and history, with an ever-expanding inventory of historical documents pertaining to Virginia, Pennsylvania and the Civil War. Shadetree also offers a wide variety of signed First Editions, as well as Art books and books on Architecture and Design. It features a nice collection of Twain, as well as Wodehouse and many others.

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