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Apologizing to Dogs by P-SimonSchuster

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Times are tough on Worth Row. This is not to say, however, that it is by any means quiet on the Row, a place where bathtubs double as lawn furniture, and adultery, bribery and larceny are as commonplace as the glass eyeballs that pop up in every yard -- all that remains from the prosthetics mill that once sat on this land. For more than thirty years, the Row's antiques dealers have run their businesses from the front rooms of their aging shotgun-style houses. After all this time, their lives have become inextricably linked -- and undeniably complicated. It is suddenly clear that there's more to be exposed on the Row than buried body parts: it seems everyone has something to hide -- from their customers, their spouses, even themselves. And they feel they're being watched....They are.The seventy-two-year-old widow Effie keeps a minute-by-minute journal of her neighbors' activities, following even stray dogs from house to house, peeking, staring and spying, sure they are all out to steal her past, ruin her future, and plunder her "better things." The fact is, Row residents have far more to concern them than old Effie. Carl, behind curtains he never opens, is using his considerable woodworking talents to turn his life -- and his house -- inside out to prove his devotion to the vintage-clothing dealer Nadine. Howard Dog-in-His-Path, a grave-robbing Indian, keeps count of every pet buried in his neighbors' backyards. The Postlethwaites, running from a tragic past, have retired to long days at the mall photo shop, where they watch pictures of other people's lives roll off the developing machines. Mose, an aged inventor, is trying his hand at the ultimate invention: true love. Mazelle, a used-book dealer, has given up reading because the secret life she lives in the cistern beneath her husband's garden is far more interesting than any fiction. The dog Himself has no greater secret than the location of his next meal, but what he digs up may reveal more than his fellow Row re

More Info
									Apologizing to Dogs
Author: Joe Coomer
Description

Times are tough on Worth Row. This is not to say, however, that it is by any means quiet on the Row, a
place where bathtubs double as lawn furniture, and adultery, bribery and larceny are as commonplace as
the glass eyeballs that pop up in every yard -- all that remains from the prosthetics mill that once sat on
this land. For more than thirty years, the Row's antiques dealers have run their businesses from the front
rooms of their aging shotgun-style houses. After all this time, their lives have become inextricably linked -
- and undeniably complicated. It is suddenly clear that there's more to be exposed on the Row than
buried body parts: it seems everyone has something to hide -- from their customers, their spouses, even
themselves. And they feel they're being watched....They are.The seventy-two-year-old widow Effie keeps
a minute-by-minute journal of her neighbors' activities, following even stray dogs from house to house,
peeking, staring and spying, sure they are all out to steal her past, ruin her future, and plunder her "better
things." The fact is, Row residents have far more to concern them than old Effie. Carl, behind curtains he
never opens, is using his considerable woodworking talents to turn his life -- and his house -- inside out to
prove his devotion to the vintage-clothing dealer Nadine. Howard Dog-in-His-Path, a grave-robbing Indian,
keeps count of every pet buried in his neighbors' backyards. The Postlethwaites, running from a tragic
past, have retired to long days at the mall photo shop, where they watch pictures of other people's lives
roll off the developing machines. Mose, an aged inventor, is trying his hand at the ultimate invention: true
love. Mazelle, a used-book dealer, has given up reading because the secret life she lives in the cistern
beneath her husband's garden is far more interesting than any fiction. The dog Himself has no greater
secret than the location of his next meal, but what he digs up may reveal more than his fellow Row
residents would like.From the quirky to the certifiable, folks on the Row have definitely gotten their lines
crossed. When a violent storm strikes, causing fire, a heart attack and grand theft, it stirs up more than
just the earth it hits. Suddenly, long-buried truths are flowing faster than the flooding rains. When the dust
and smoke finally clear, the Row has been turned upside down and nobody -- human or dog -- will ever be
the same again.With a strong, rich and uproariously funny voice, Joe Coomer resurrects the magic of his
previous novels, Beachcombing for a Shipwrecked God and The Loop, and turns the utterly ordinary into
the stunningly extraordinary. With a splendid cast of characters and the cleverest canine in comedy,
Apologizing to Dogs is a hilarious, heartwarming and wonderfully human tale and proves that no matter
how old you get, there's always something worth holding on to, fighting for and loving with all your might.
Excerpt

Friday, October 38:17 Verda in her tight pants out to get her paper. She has a habit of pulling her dress
out of her rear crack when she gets up out of a chair and I noticed she did the same with the pants after
she'd bent over to pick up her paper. I was on my front porch watering my pot plants.The bar was cool
that day and he was thirsty and that was all he was thinking about, that and whether or not he'd
remembered to tighten down the clamp on the condensation drain of unit number four. If it leaked they'd
call. No, that wasn't right. He'd go back first thing in the morning and check on it. He'd spent the day
installing six commercial air-conditioning units at a new business on Hulen Street. His elbows rested on
the bar and his two front teeth sat on his lower lip like a washer and dryer, the washer having wobbled
away on spin cycle leaving a gap between his teeth large enough to see a pink wad of lint which was his
tongue. After each gulp of beer, he poked the lint back with the wing bone of a chicken. He'd sucked on a
chicken bone for as long as he could remember, so long that some people called him Bone rather than
Marshall. He didn't mind. He'd tried and failed to give up the bone, but the bone was stronger than he
was. It wasn't such a bad habit. Chicken wings were cheap. His teeth were as white as a dog's. But he
knew that the bone frightened women. They stared and then winced and acted as if the bone were in their
own mouths. So he avoided people, installed air-conditioning units, heat pumps, ran the ductwork, and
took all the solace and flavor he could from his bone. There had been this way of life since he'd graduated
from high school seventeen years earlier. He'd scored eighteen points in his final game at Northside High.
He was a six-foot-eight, 160-pound second-string center, and when the other boy broke his ankle at the
beginning of the second half, Marshall bit through his own bone and went in. He could recall each of the
nine baskets but never brought this up in conversation. Lots of people thought he was called Bone for his
slender build, then they'd see the bone. The bone he sucked on that evening was relatively fresh. He
could still taste the marrow leaching through the epiphysis.The first thing he noticed that had anything to
do with Aura was her drink. Down at the far end of the bar was a short, squat glass containing an
aquamarine liquid protected by a little umbrella. It looked as if someone had slit open a blue freezer pack
and drained it into a glass. Behind the drink, in shadow, something caught the light. It flashed again and
once more. Something like a nickel spinning in midair. For a moment he forgot the bone and it tumbled
between his two front teeth, slipped off his lower lip and bounced on the bar. He put it back in his mouth
as carefully as he might reinsert a false eye. A hand came out of the shadows and took the cool drink,
withdrew. It gave him a chill. The hand was all palm; its fingers hardly protruded from the thick, pumpkin-
rind flesh. Marshall put his own hands beneath the bar and clasped them. That flash again. He almost
recognized it. He rolled his bone across his teeth and touched the brim of his cap. He had the oddest
sensation. He felt as if someone's ankle was on the verge of snapping. He picked up his beer and moved
around the bar in three strides, his long legs always carrying him to places and events sooner than his
eyes could interpret them."Have a seat with us," she said, and she reached out to pat the stool next to
her but her arm was too short. In the half-light of the bar she resembled a malted milk ball, round and
dark. Her...
Author Bio
Joe Coomer
Joe Coomer is the author of Beachcombing for a Shipwrecked God, The Loop, Sailing in a Spoonful of
Water and an award-winning book of nonfiction, Dream House. He lives in Azle, Texas, and Eliot,
Maine.<br/>
Reviews

Joe Coomer is a marvelously creative comic writer.



Coomer writes so well, with such freshness and authenticity, that we hate to put the book down.



Coomer manages to write the world into a small space, and like a brain surgeon with his scalpel, wields
his pen accurately and incisively....A master of lyric brevity.



Joe Coomer...manages to make the eccentric seem perfectly ordinary.



Joe Coomer...pitches miracles....

								
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