At once an offbeat love story, a moving portrait of a family in crisis, and a darkly funny American comedy, Kyle Beachy’s arresting debut novel—written in prose that is swift, stunning, and sweet—heralds the arrival of a remarkable new voice in fiction.
Potter Mays retreats immediately after college graduation to the safe house of his childhood home. Like clockwork each morning, his mother makes him eggs, lovingly fried into hollowed-out pieces of toast. His father, in the midst of a campaign to revitalize downtown St. Louis, promises to “poke around” for gainful employment for his son. Potter’s best friend, Stuart—an “Independent Thought Contractor” working out of his parents’ lavish pool house—is willing to serve as a kind of life coach, provided, of course, that Potter pays for his services all summer.
Altogether elsewhere, Potter’s (former? future?) girlfriend, Audrey, is backpacking around Europe with her beautiful bisexual traveling companion, Carmel. Potter was not invited, and getting a good night’s sleep has recently become an issue for him.
As enigmatic packages arrive from Audrey, the refuge of life at home soon proves illusory. Potter’s parents are oddly never in the same room together, the neighbor girl is looking quite adult, and Stuart’s much-needed counseling service is subcontracted to a third-party denizen of the pool house with an agenda all his own. And just what are those noises coming from the attic?
Kyle Beachy has woven a uniquely affecting story of the long and hard, then quick and hard, struggle to grow up.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
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|Title of Romance eBook: The Slide|
|Release Date: 01-27-2009|
|Allowed Countries (hover)|
|Publisher: Random House Publishing Group|
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|Parent title||The Slide|
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What was good about the road was that the road’s decisions were already made. For two full days I’d watched it emerge on the horizon and disappear beneath me. I saw it change colors, from black to gray to brown, and sometimes felt the seams between them, a clunk against the steady tremble. Los Angeles giving way to glittery Vegas, Martian Utah, and a blind nighttime passage through the Rockies. Then a fresh morning of eastern Colorado fading into prodigious fields of Kansan wheat, forever-sized and flat like nothing you’ve ever seen, until finally Missouri, blunt and dark, a series of brake lights to guide along the final leg. I surrendered to the road. Only once did I pick up my phone and call Audrey. After eight rings I heard her voice mail, and here I likely should have made some gesture, but everything had already been said, repeated, thrown around like rolled-up socks.
Then I was back in the driveway, engine idling, wondering just what in the shit to do now. There was a new addition to the house jutting into what used to be side yard. I could imagine my parents in the living room, quiet and mostly still, cozy within that special silence of the long-married. If I unfastened my seat belt, the car would beep at me.
Soon enough the front door opened to reveal parents silhouetted against the yellow glow of home. I cut the engine, stepped into the night, raised a hand, and smiled. Hello. The air felt and tasted heavy and wet. A hug, a hand pressed flush against cheek, and even though it wasn’t a week since we’d all been together at commencement, I sensed relief in them both. During her second hug my mother swayed and spoke quietly to the ai...