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From Barnes & NobleBarnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers
Road trips have always made great fiction, whether in classics like Steinbeck's Grapes of Wrath or more contemporary tales like Mona Simpson's Anywhere but Here. Now the fresh voice of James Whorton Jr. adds a new dimension to the road-trip genre with his fiction debut: the quirky, humorous, and thoroughly enjoyable Approximately Heaven.
This trip begins in Tennessee, where 32-year-old Don Brush is forced to face the reality that his life is falling apart. An unemployed electrician, Don lives in a deteriorating house he never gets around to fixing, and he wakes up one Saturday morning to find that his wife is packing up and heading out -- for good. Concerned that once she leaves she'll never return, Don offers to leave instead. With nowhere to go, he decides to join Dove, an acquaintance, on a road trip south to Mississippi.
Filled with wrong turns, cheap eats, and lots of beer, the story spins out as Don and Dove ponder their own and each other's disappointing lives, remaining uncommonly good-humored as they plot their course for a better future. With Approximately Heaven, newcomer Whorton screeches onto the literary scene, delivering a novel that's approximately a laugh a page, and in total, a sometimes hangdog, often unsparing, yet eternally upbeat modern-day adventure. (Summer 2003 Selection)