Love and Reruns in Adams County

Overview

In 1985, Lon Peterson returns to West Union, Ohio, after failing out of the minor leagues. His ex-wife, ex-cheerleader Pamela, has already come back to town and launched her career at McDonald's. Her new husband, Bobby, plays with "antique" toys he's supposed to be selling, watches game shows, and spends lunch hours with Becky Diane from the Department of Motor Vehicles. Lon himself moves on to younger girls who recognize him from his photo, which sits in the trophy case at West Union High, and he tries his hand ...
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Overview

In 1985, Lon Peterson returns to West Union, Ohio, after failing out of the minor leagues. His ex-wife, ex-cheerleader Pamela, has already come back to town and launched her career at McDonald's. Her new husband, Bobby, plays with "antique" toys he's supposed to be selling, watches game shows, and spends lunch hours with Becky Diane from the Department of Motor Vehicles. Lon himself moves on to younger girls who recognize him from his photo, which sits in the trophy case at West Union High, and he tries his hand at selling real estate, dressed in his only suit, the green one he got married in.... Mark Spencer illuminates their world - a landscape of cheap motels, trailer parks, and fast-food joints littered with smalltown minds and flimsy dreams. He explores the lives, eccentricities, and strange interrelationships of Lon and Pamela, their friends, lovers, and enemies, with piercing insight, sensitivity, and humor. Like his oddly endearing characters, Spencer sees a lightness in the wreckage. In the tradition of Raymond Carver and Bobbie Ann Mason, Love and Reruns in Adams County is a quirky, compulsively readable story. In his debut novel, Mark Spencer proves himself an exciting presence in American fiction. Mark Spencer teaches writing at Cameron University.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The failures and disappointments of young adulthood stand out against a desolate landscape of midwestern highways and franchise culture in this understated, funny and sad first novel. When former high school baseball star Lon Peterson returns to Adams County, Ohio, in 1985 for his father's funeral, his professional sports career and his marriage to ex-cheerleader Pamela (now a counter girl at a nearby McDonald's) have both failed. Among the other deftly drawn characters are Pamela's unemployed second husband Bobby, who drives hundreds of miles collecting antique toys most people consider junk, and Lon's new girlfriend Crystal, who is repelled by her husband's recent hand amputation and considers her situation from inside a locked bomb shelter while her friend Anita dabbles in white witchcraft. Spencer ( Spying on Lovers ) uses flashbacks to trace these individuals' paths to their present tribulations. He vividly and convincingly renders the Adams County milieu and peoples it with complex, sympathetic men and women striving to overcome their frustrations. Although the lack of a denouement is initially unsatisfying, it leaves readers rooting for the memorable, persevering characters. (Feb.)
Library Journal
This first novel is being released amid high expectations from the publisher. A former high school baseball star returns to his hometown in Ohio after his minor league career fizzles.
Eloise Kinney
Pamela is married to Bobby, who's having an affair with Becky Diane. Lon is hot for Pamela, but he's running around with Cindy. It's 1985, in the small town of West Union, and while hormones are running rampant, everything else is falling apart. Lon's dad has died, leaving him a rundown farm, and Pamela has decided to leave Bobby, who has taken to playing with guns a little too often. Motives hide behind six-packs, and evenings are spent in front of the television. The novel jumps to 1991, and although Lon is now selling real estate and living with Crystal, he's still a wanderer in his heart. Pamela has a son, but she's still unhappy, unsure of herself, and deciding between marriage to Roy or romance with Lloyd. First-time author Spencer skillfully and compassionately taps into the frailties of small lives in small towns, where everyone knows who you were--cheerleader, high-school baseball star--and no one knows who you are.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780449908990
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 1/18/1994
  • Edition description: 1st ed
  • Pages: 272

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