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Peter Squared
     

Peter Squared

by Ken Goldberg
 

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Kirkus Review: Clinical psychologist Goldberg's first novel explores the twin concepts of outsider status and insanity, with a mathematical twist ... By turns comic and tragic, readers must form their own opinions about what truly constitutes sanity in an insane world.

Peter, a habitual peep show user, dreads dirt, fears contamination, and lives each day in

Overview

Kirkus Review: Clinical psychologist Goldberg's first novel explores the twin concepts of outsider status and insanity, with a mathematical twist ... By turns comic and tragic, readers must form their own opinions about what truly constitutes sanity in an insane world.

Peter, a habitual peep show user, dreads dirt, fears contamination, and lives each day in strange fantasy and total emotional isolation. By strictly adhering to self-imposed mathematic rituals, he maintains his own orderly - albeit lonely - universe in a chaotic world. One day, he meets John, a lifelong mental patient. From their respective disturbances, they form an odd, but deep, friendship.

A literary novel, Peter Squared is both tragic and funny. Through vivid characters and absurd situations, Peter Squared addresses such controversial questions as: Are neglected and abused children better off protected or left alone? Is smoking really bad for you? Does fellatio violate kosher dietary laws?

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780615665061
Publisher:
Wyndmoor Press
Publication date:
07/23/2012
Pages:
182
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.42(d)

Read an Excerpt

Peter looked up when a buzzer rang. His whites were dry. A minute later, a second buzzer rang: the dark-colored clothes were done.

Something's wrong! he thought, knowing that in the past these two machines' cycles ran no more then ten seconds apart.

He spotted a sticker on the top of the machine, with a number to call if it did not work. He wrote down the number, thinking he should call when he got home.

As he folded the laundry, placing it carefully in the newly cleaned laundry bags, Peter felt more and more anxious, afraid to call yet knowing he should.

It's my responsibility. I'm going to call.

He looked at his clothes. They were clean and perfectly dry.

He pictured himself talking on the phone, "Hello, this is Peter Branstill."

"Yes, sir. How can I help you?"

"I just came from your laundromat on Broadway. There's a terrible problem. Dryer No. 7 ran a minute too long."

Peter hears a gasp. The man's breath sounds heavy.

"We're on it," he says, hanging up as sirens sound, the laundromat team on its way.

All the way home, Peter replayed this scene in his head until finally they took him, not the dryer, away.

Meet the Author

Ken Goldberg is a clinical psychologist. He is a graduate of Long Island University, who has specialized in treating the mentally ill in community-based programs. More recently, he has become a leading critic of homework policy and the author of The Homework Trap: How to Save the Sanity of Parents, Students and Teachers. Before becoming a psychologist, Dr. Goldberg studied mathematics at Tulane and Columbia Universities. He is a recipient of the Glendy Burke Award, a Woodrow Wilson Fellow, and has studied mathematics at Columbia University on a National Science Foundation Fellowship. Dr. Goldberg has three grown children and lives with his wife outside Philadelphia. Peter Squared was originally published in 2000 by MacAdam Cage Publishing and is his first literary novel. The sequel, Peter Cubed, will be released in 2012.

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