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A disorder peculiar to the country : a novel
Ken Kalfus
Adult Fiction KALFUS

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From Publishers' Weekly:

Kalfus's novel of post-9/11 anomie and family disintegration is barbed with hidden punch lines and embedded pockets of horror-clad humor. The tangled, slow-motion journey toward divorce of a harried, bitter upper-middle-class New York couple unfolds in the midst of a city under siege, during a time of catastrophic political and social upheaval. Respecting the nature of Kalfus's novel, Boles treads carefully and lightly. He rarely interferes in the hurtling motion of Kalfus's prose, studded as it is with asides and stray thoughts, preferring instead to stand back and allow the words room to breathe. Reading in a detached, polite manner, he grants Marshall and Joyce the opportunity to hang themselves with their own words, knowing they will need no assistance whatsoever from his performance. A simultaneous release with the Ecco hardcover (Reviews, Apr. 3). (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

Even with the horror of the planes crashing into the World Trade Center, Joyce, thinking her husband dead, experiences a moment of glee. Similarly, with Joyce scheduled to fly to San Francisco that morning, when Marshall hears that the plane she was supposed to have boarded crashed into the Pentagon, he, too, is initially hopeful. Thus begins book reviewer and journalist Kalfus's (The Commissariat of Enlightenment) black comedy of post-9/11 New York, intensified by the parallel issues of divorce and terrorism. After the attacks, Joyce's office receives a letter containing white powder, while Marshall relives his traumatic escape from the Trade Center pavilion. This heightening of tensions corresponds to a heightening of the divorce wars as Joyce sleeps with Marshall's best friend and Marshall sabotages Joyce's sister's wedding. As the world adjusts to the new state of being, Joyce and Marshall also adjust, eventually finalizing their divorce. Kalfus places the events of the year following 9/11 in perspective, and it is the reflections on this period with the benefit of years of hindsight that make this novel with a twist ending such an appealing read. Recommended.-Joshua Cohen, Mid-Hudson Lib. Syst., Poughkeepsie, NY (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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main characters Joyce Harriman
Female
Divorced
Involved in a divorce custody battle over the house and other assets; seduces Marshall's best friend; determined not to let her husband get anything.

Marshall Harriman
Female
Divorced
Battling his wife for custody of the house; sabotages Joyce's sister's wedding; determined to get everything after the divorce.



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