Perfect Timing

Overview

Georgia's Author of the Year for fiction presents a wonderful novel featuring his hallmark blend of humor and pathos. When a music professor tormented by a crumbling marriage and the onset of middle age recognizes his first love in a TV special on the homeless, he sets out with his hilarious born-again ex-con cousin to rescue her. The result is rollicking, riotous entertainment.
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Overview

Georgia's Author of the Year for fiction presents a wonderful novel featuring his hallmark blend of humor and pathos. When a music professor tormented by a crumbling marriage and the onset of middle age recognizes his first love in a TV special on the homeless, he sets out with his hilarious born-again ex-con cousin to rescue her. The result is rollicking, riotous entertainment.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
With the same clear-eyed and uncloying sensitivity for eccentric characters he displayed in All the Western Stars , Williams takes on mid-life madness in this tale of dreams both dashed and fulfilled. Ford Clayton teaches musicology at the North Carolina music conservatory he graduated from 20 years before, a continuity that pleased him once but finds him, at middle age, feeling safe and sorry. He has a brief affair with a student, prompting his wife to decamp with the children. Then on a TV show about New York City's homeless he sees Camille Malone, the great love of his college days, and becomes convinced that if he can find her he'll recover the promise of his youth. A series of credible misunderstandings takes him, in the company of his little-loved cousin Clarence-- just out of federal prison and recently born again-- to Myrtle Beach to meet Camille and to reclaim passion for both life and music. Riffs of laugh-out-loud humor lighten the serious movements of Ford's quest as Williams leads him and other memorable characters, notably the prodigiously talented but unbalanced Camille, toward a satisfying finale. A special treat for readers who love music. (May)
Library Journal
A novel of midlife crises bursting with hu mor, nostalgia, philosophy, and more than a touch of madness. Ford Clayton, an instructor at a North Carolina music conservatory and a not-yet-successful composer, is in trouble. His affair with a younger woman has prompted his wife to leave with the children and move in with her sister. Ford sees a clip on TV about the homeless in New York; and there in rags is Camille Malone, his first love in college. She had been exciting, talented, weird, and always quoting obscure writ ers and philosophers. (As a child she had been locked in a closet for extended periods with the Encyclopedia Britannica.) Ford and she meet again, and she is wilder than ever; but the fatal attraction may still be there. Clarence, Ford's mad cousin who found God in jail, joins with Camille to create a new religion, and they plan to launch it at the conservatory where Ford teaches. In a series of flashbacks, the touching, sometimes religious experiences alternate with wildly imaginative sequences in the present. Wonderful dialog, musical lore, treatments of roads not taken, and some very funny characters appear in this offbeat but stylish and enjoyable novel. Perfect Timing is highly recommended.-- Robert H. Donahugh, formerly with Youngstown & Mahoning Cty. P.L., Ohio
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781561450244
  • Publisher: Peachtree Publishers, Ltd.
  • Publication date: 5/15/1991
  • Series: Contemporary American Fiction Series
  • Pages: 320
  • Product dimensions: 6.26 (w) x 9.26 (h) x 1.19 (d)

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