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All the bells on earth
James P. Blaylock
Adult Fiction BLAYLOCK

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From Publishers' Weekly:

With acrobatic grace, Blaylock (Night Relics), winner of two World Fantasy Awards, once again walks the dividing line between fantasy and horror‘this time, as he relates a deal-with-the-devil story set in suburban Southern California. Two decades ago, a clergyman masquerading as a satanic emissary duped three businessmen from the small town of Orange into selling him their souls. As soon as one of them spontaneously combusts during the current Christmas season, however, the others scurry to break the deal. It turns out that there exists a good luck charm that can save the soul of one, millionaire malefactor Robert Argyle, but when that charm is accidentally delivered to Walt Stebbins, Argyle's unsuccessful rival in the mail-order business, a chain of misadventures begins in which Walt, his wife, her uncle and an unlikely pair of clergymen all recognize the taint of the devilish deal in their daily lives. Blaylock's gentle satire on ``capitalism gone rancid'' is supported by his authentic rendering of a small town where the economic reality of having to pay the bills occupies much of people's time. While the author probes the dark side of small-town life, he ultimately celebrates the virtues of simple living, yielding the sort of homey moral one finds in a Garrison Keillor monologue. (Nov.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

In this latest novel by the author of The Paper Grail (Ace, 1992), a small California town becomes a battleground for souls when a desperate businessman attempts to outwit the devil. Blaylock infuses ordinary lives with extraordinary layers of meaning and transforms the everyday problems of his characters into cosmic sorties in the eternal battle between good and evil. While juxtaposing subtle humor with grim horror, the author portrays a world in which human virtues become mystic weapons and unlikely heroes grope their way toward salvation. Recommended for most libraries. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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main characters Robert Argyle
Walt's ex-friend and business rival.
Mail-order businessman

Walt Stebbins
Beset with family problems; accidentally comes to possess the Bluebird of Happiness.
Mail-order businessman

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