Addled [NOOK Book]

Overview

Eden Rock Country Club is a grand New England institution, a lush haven of leisure and cocktails, where gossip and intrigue lurk discreetly behind a veil of old-world propriety. But one Fourth of July, a flock of geese descends on the club's manicured lawns; never fond of outsiders, the Eden Rock denizens find these new guests distinctly unwelcome.

When Charles Lambert, a bond trader with a strong portfolio but a weak golf game, accidentally ...
See more details below
Addled

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • NOOK HD/HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK Study
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$11.99
BN.com price

Overview

Eden Rock Country Club is a grand New England institution, a lush haven of leisure and cocktails, where gossip and intrigue lurk discreetly behind a veil of old-world propriety. But one Fourth of July, a flock of geese descends on the club's manicured lawns; never fond of outsiders, the Eden Rock denizens find these new guests distinctly unwelcome.

When Charles Lambert, a bond trader with a strong portfolio but a weak golf game, accidentally kills a goose with a wayward drive, he sets in motion a series of events that will leave the club and its members changed forever. His wife, Madeline, must face the mutterings of other members about the state of her marriage--and his sanity. Meanwhile, their daughter, an animal rights activist, mounts a quixotic campaign to make the club go vegan, much to the annoyance of Vita, a talented, obsessive chef who has her own plans for the geese.

A deftly observed social comedy, ADDLED is a rich and riotous story of old money, new ideas, and the power of passion to disrupt even the most orderly of worlds.
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Booklist
...an inspired social commentary....the lure of romance, rejuvenation at midlife, and the joys of creativity are all given their due in a first novel that is both very funny and very moving.
Publishers Weekly
Hart's debut sardonically exposes the inner lives of the members of New England's prestigious Eden Rock Country Club. Bond trader Charles Lambert's botched tee-off accidentally kills a goose that's part of a huge flock that has invaded the club's grounds, spurring him to eccentrically "examine the balance sheet of his soul." The other members think he's lost his mind, forcing his wife, Madeline, still out of her depth with Eden Rock's old money, to deal with the gossip and cross looks, while their animal rights activist daughter protests the club, insisting it go vegan. Meanwhile, the club's chef, Vita, is secretly fattening up a portion of the flock with the illicit intention of creating an unforgettable meal for club members. The damage-controlling club manager, Gerard Wilton, the dieting Dr. Frank Nicastro and the secret-mongering dowager Arietta Wingate round out the cast. While some of the lesser characters tiptoe dangerously close to stereotypes of the rich and privileged, Hart does an admirable job of developing memorable flawed characters and letting them loose in an absurd situation. The misunderstandings, unusual pairings and comic antics call to mind the twists and turns of an old-fashioned drawing room comedy. (May) Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal

Who would think the accidental killing of a goose by Charles Lambert's golf shot could bring down a fine institution like New England's Eden Rock Country Club? Membership in the club is restricted to the area's upper crust, and longtime club member Arietta Wingate, recognizing the inbred nature of the membership, keeps a secret log of extramarital affairs to insure that no siblings accidentally marry. It is Charles's wife, Madeline, who is chosen to carry this secret tradition forward, but Charles's goose slaughtering drives him into a strange state of apathy about work, the club, and even golf, leading to gossip about their marriage and not-so-subtle exclusion of Madeline from club events. The ramifications of the goose killing move beyond the Lamberts when, for instance, club director Gerard Wilton orders groundskeeper Barry to get rid of the entire flock and instead Barry adopts a baby goose. As if this weren't bad enough, Gerard's gourmet chef, Vita, samples a goose recipe and decides to secretly fatten up the geese for the end-of-summer banquet. Hart, a regular contributor to the Boston Globe, offers an entertainingly farcical look at the social mores of an isolated upper class that uses its privilege to escape from the real world. Recommended.
—Joshua Cohen

Kirkus Reviews
Old money, environmental activism and large waterfowl collide in the suburbs of Boston. Wild geese have descended on Eden Rock Country Club, and they've excited a discordant array of reactions. The club manager wants them gone, dead or alive. The club chef wants them fat and juicy in time for a big awards banquet. The groundskeeper wants to protect them from poisonous herbicides; he's adopted a gosling for a pet. And one of the club's members has descended into an existential funk after accidentally killing one of the birds with a golf ball. Meanwhile, the Eden Rock social scene is just recovering from a broken engagement between two young members, Nina Rundlett and Eliot Farnsworth. Their breakup was engineered by Arietta Wingate, keeper of "the book": a record of the club's sexual history, secretly maintained since Eden Rock's inception and passed down through the generations from one club matriarch to her carefully chosen apprentice. Arietta knows who the real fathers are, and it's her job to prevent intra-club marriages between partners unaware of their consanguinity. These two plotlines make very odd bedfellows. The plague of geese could have triggered a slapstick romp or a sharp satire. It could have been a black comedy of manners. But it's neither, and lacks both fizz and bite. Nor does Hart create some other satisfying whole from these disparate pieces. The large cast of characters adds diversity without adding interest. Hart narrates in the third person, but she allows individual voices to color each chapter's tone, a technique that would have been more successful if her characters weren't uniformly one-dimensional. Club manager Gerard has no existence beyond Eden Rock; chef Vitathinks of nothing but foie gras and creme fra"che; activist Phoebe seldom spares a thought for anything she can't protest. They may not be unrealistic-people can, of course, be overworked, food-obsessed and shrilly judgmental-but they certainly are boring. An unfocused, underdeveloped, unexciting debut.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780316005685
  • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
  • Publication date: 5/15/2007
  • Sold by: Hachette Digital, Inc.
  • Format: eBook
  • File size: 374 KB

Meet the Author

JoeAnn Hart has an MFA from Bennington College, where she studied under Lucy Grealy. A regular contributor to the Boston Globe Sunday Magazine, she lives with her family in Massachusetts. This is her first novel.
Read More Show Less

Read an Excerpt

Addled

A Novel
By JoeAnn Hart

Little, Brown and Company

Copyright © 2007 JoeAnn Hart
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-0-316-01500-4


Chapter One

The Angle of Approach

IT WAS a perfect lie. Charles Lambert handled his 3-iron as reverently as a divining rod, its finely calibrated balance sending a golden hum to his brain. The fairway lay open at his feet, presenting no obstacles between him and Plateau, the elevated green of Hole #14-200 yards away, still well within his capabilities. Still. Up at the club house, he heard fabric slap and cables clank as Old Glory fought the morning breeze, and he made a mental calculation to correct for the wind. If only he could freeze it all, these precious moments before the club made contact with the ball, when anything was possible.

He could even win. He was playing a decent game in spite of not getting out on the course nearly enough that spring. Freedom at the office had been sorely curtailed, what with one corporate scandal and SEC investigation after another. Here it was, the Fourth of July weekend, and he wasn't even tan yet-not naturally so, at any rate. He'd had to borrow bronzing gel from Madeline's bag of tricks for these ambered arms, making him feel like the vigorous youth he was not so long ago. Indeed, his muscles were still firm, his wrists supple and pronated, his hands-properly V-clasped firmly around the staff-as strong as ever. In a nod to authenticity, he'd even kept the bronzer off his lefthand where a golf glove would have blocked the sun.

He looked down at the dimpled ball, then back up at the broad fairway. To the right, the wall of vegetation that straddled his backyard threw a purple shadow on the course. When he was a boy, he used to play over there, knocking acorns around with a stick-looking over the gate. How proud he was the first time his father brought him along for a game. He was no taller than a golf bag and yet he'd felt like one of the men, a hunter of balls, a conquering hero. But hunters and heroes did not, as a rule, wear bronzing gel, did they? When had vanity replaced his old selfassurance, his self-mastery-his self? Why was it that when his father turned silver at the temples he'd been called distinguished, but when his own chestnut hair lost its depth he was simply growing old? It wasn't fair to change the rules like that. Slings of flesh-jowls-had begun to round off his chin, once so pointed and cleft. His entire infrastructure was aging. After the game, he had to go see his dentist about a cracked tooth.

He tried to focus, reaching back to a lifetime of lessons: straight arm, bent knee, head down, eye on the ball. Or inner eye on the ball, as Steeve from the Buddha Ball Clinic would say-the double e's in his name like hooded eyes-enigmatically adding that "the hole and the ball have been one throughout eternity." If that were the case, Charles sniffed, then what was the point of going through the motions? And "be the ball" was nothing more than what Chevy Chase said in Caddyshack, a movie Steeve claimed never to have seen. What sort of golf pro was that?

But the three days and twelve hundred dollars were not entirely wasted. He did grasp the concept about forging a connection between hand, mind, and club, and the importance of keeping the head still-mentally, not just physically-to make room for abundance in his shot. But stillness eluded him. Steeve told him that it could not be sought, and the best he could do was prepare himself to receive it.

"How do I do that?" Charles had asked.

"You must find your own path," Steeve had said, with what Charles felt was a spiritual smirk. "No one can tell you. Be natural. Let it go to let it in."

"Of what?" Charles had been exasperated. "What do I let go of?"

"Striving. Trying so hard." Steeve had stroked his severely clipped beard and studied Charles. "And if you can't let go, try loosening your grip."

Finally, some decent golf advice.

Charles waggled his club and breathed in deeply as he relaxed his hands, but then a chunk of air lodged at the base of his throat. How had a moment of peace degenerated so quickly into another opportunity for anxiety? He shifted his weight to his left foot and rotated his shoulders. At least he was tall-not shrinking yet!-and that gave him an edge. Even an inch or two made a difference in being able to assess the lay of the land. He could see, off in the distance, that old duffer Howie Amory disappear into the dogleg of #16, and over there, a stately parade of Canada geese was marching up from Oxbow Lake. The birds acted like they owned the place, posing in their formal attitudes, luxuriously plucking at the green turf. If they could hold a club with those feathered limbs, they'd be better than he was by the end of the summer. It used to be his fortunes that were on the rise; now it was his handicap. But a man's game only improved in proportion to the time available to work on it, and since his fiftieth birthday he'd felt he had no time at all.

He readjusted his grip and felt the scorecard in his pocket dig into his groin. He could sense his partners shifting uneasily as they ran out of small talk, waiting for him to take his shot. Gregg, Neddy, and Andrew, all friends and colleagues, had only a two-minute reserve of conversation, even among themselves. That is, unless they were involved in some sport so they wouldn't have to look at one another, but only look at the ball, and discuss the ball, what the ball did, why it did it, and what could be done to either encourage it or keep it from doing it again. It could be a golf ball on Saturday morning, or it could be a baseball tuned in to the radio in an air-conditioned Land Rover. It could be a football on a home-theater screen as they fended off another sleety New England winter on tufted-leather sofas. They could even be entertained by a Day-Glo tennis ball soaring over the heads of their wives in mixed doubles. The ball made them happy, but it had to keep moving. It made them nervous when it stopped for too long, foreshadowing the inevitable day when it-and they-would stop moving altogether.

Charles wrapped himself in a tight cocoon of concentration as he raised his club high, determined not to hesitate at the apex, hesitated anyway, and swung. The contact reverberated through his body as if he were sending a piece of himself into the universe, soaring. Up and up-the small white voyager sailed through the blue sky as through a heavenly sea, and his mind's eye followed along, looking at the course from high above, down at the giant amoebas of putting greens, the luxurious tops of trees, the reflective gaze of water hazards, all fitting together like pieces of a master puzzle. Then the ball-and the vision-began to fall from flight, plunging down, and down again, until the pieces broke apart. Neddy gasped in an asthmatic wheeze, simultaneous with the distant squa-a-ak. A grazing Canada goose fell over in a violent gesture, then went still.

The golfers, too shocked to laugh, stared at the inert body in the distance and waited to see if maybe it wouldn't decide to get up and shake off the whole affair. When they realized that such was not going to be the case, they walked over in trepidation, stepping over the divot.

Charles got there first and squatted by the goose spread in supplication on the flawless grass. He was about to touch it, until Andrew, slight and sandy, put his hand over his mouth and shook his head. Holding his 3- iron like a harpoon, Charles prodded the feathered body until it rolled over, causing the head to settle at an unnatural angle. Blood appeared at its nostrils.

"How disgusting," said Andrew, scrunching up his face, an act that made his Adam's apple protrude even more.

"Well done, Charles," said Neddy, laughing. He lowered his fireplug of a body and tugged at a wing feather. "What a pity hunting season doesn't open for another six months."

Gregg, a massive hulk of a human, bald and bubble-gum pink, got his best club out of his bag: The USGA's Rules of Golf. "You can't play the game without knowing the rules," he always said. He began to pace, digging his cleats into the turf with every lumbering step as he turned the pages, searching for an answer. Andrew, abnormally upright by orders of his doctor and chiropractor, who catered to his tight, fl inching spine, stepped away from the body and pulled a cell phone out of his pants pocket. Phones were forbidden on the course, but then again, as he often pointed out, so was foul language. And besides, he kept the phone on vibrate and only made outgoing calls when he had to. He dialed the grounds crew to clear away the mess.

Charles collapsed to a one- legged kneel, using his club as a staff to balance himself. He pressed his lips together and tasted blood where his cracked tooth had rubbed at his inner flesh, and he stared at the bird. The feathers of one wing were spread open like a fan, the tip pointing up, beckoning him. The bleakness and terrible reality of existence seeped into his very being, all on this fine blue day, played upon this smooth green grass. He'd been aiming for the other side of the fairway altogether. How was one to go on with the game?

"Is there a penalty?" asked Gregg, stabbing a finger in his book. "What do I look under?"

"Augury," croaked Charles.

"There's nothing here about that." Gregg paced in wider and wider circles with every rotation, not looking up from the Rules.

"Is a goose a natural obstruction or an outside agent?"

"Augury?" Neddy snorted, then stood with a groan, straightening the crease of his butter-yellow pants. "Charles, we should never have let you go to that wacky clinic this winter. Soon you'll be playing golf and buying bonds by examining the entrails of birds."

"Entrails!" Andrew turned his back to the men and shouted into the phone, his hand over one ear. "You'd better hurry."

Charles stood up with great effort, trembling at the joints. "I can't say we wouldn't all do any better if we did." He wiped his forehead with his arm, smudging his skin-deep glow, and looked up in time to see a lone crow sweep over them to inspect the carnage.

(Continues...)



Excerpted from Addled by JoeAnn Hart Copyright © 2007 by JoeAnn Hart. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 1 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(1)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 22, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)