Gilligan's Wake: A Novel
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In this kaleidoscopic fantasy, seven uniquely familiar narrators recall the last American century. An old salt shares his memories of fellow PT-boat skipper Jack Kennedy. A New York millionaire gets Alger Hiss a job. An ex-debutante reveals her Jazz Age friendship with The Great Gatsby's Daisy Buchanan. A Dixie redhead dishes up the inside scoop on the Rat Pack. A scientist confesses to his part in every event from Los Alamos to Watergate. And Mary-Ann Kilroy of Russell, Kansas finds romance in Paris before learning why she'll never leave the island. But behind them lurks the man who keeps insisting that his name isn't Gilligan--and who's inventing this brilliant, poignant comic collage for reasons of his own.
would have quit, and you could hear yourself think.” “Fat chance of that!” I said, jumping up in my corset and high-heeled black boots to give #6’s brick wall another smack. “It won’t do any good,” my roommate murmured. However, my banging must have changed the light, which incidentally had no evident source that I could see. As it quivered, it made her seem older, for she briefly appeared to be in her forties—or rather, like a luminous sketch of herself in her forties, drawn by a hand whose
experience before. The next day, another turned up, featuring a different set of joyous thugs but under the same general banner. And so on, making about a dozen different titles in all until a second installment of the first one I’d seen was delivered, at which point the whole cycle began over again. As months and then years went by, if one adventure was retired, another would soon replace it. Their provenance remained a mystery. But in what may have been an early sign of second childhood, I
dubious that such could be the case. The scorn in Daisy’s laugh was as dazzling as if I had seen it, like a sudden shower of gold coins tossed from somewhere high. “Whatever for?” she demanded, pushing her hair back off her pale brow. “So he could tell me about the cheap little doxy he’s found in the afterlife, and the lovely, squalid orgies that the two of them are having in Hades?” She saw my lips trying to remember the name of the bootlegger people said had been her lover—unaided, for my
from hunting. I used to play outside the door when I was a little girl, just listening to all that whooping and barking and the occasional gunshot and wondering which of those men was my poppa.” “But this part was written for you,” Gagilnil complained. “How am I supposed to make The Puerile Maid now? It’d be like Triumph of the Will without Nazis, or Birth of a Nation without the Klan. Oh, sure, I could rewrite—but it won’t be the same. And this was my big chance to break out.” At which point,
bomb, whose target had been chosen when I pushed a blindfolded man toward a wall map with a bit of chalk in his hand. From a bed across the room, two dark eyes stared at me like beads from a necklace long since scattered. Despite an opened window and the strong smell of saline and newly sprayed antiseptic that hung in the air like a cloud, the smell of suppuration was stronger. Bringing my hands together, I inclined my tousled head slightly. “Hajimemashita” I said,beaming. “Dozo yoroshiku.” In