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This book's artist hero, writer Dale Hammer, does battle with the benighted conformity of bourgeois suburban culture. Saddled with a house and life he can't afford, Dale has alienated his wife and family through trying to have his cake and eat it, too. Dale, in a word, is unhappy. His talent has been slowly suffocating. He can no longer write, his three novels far behind him, the product of a different life. He is reduced to brokering mortgages for a living, but even this ignominious day job is slowly evaporating with the housing market's decline. Dale's incisive narration of his rebellion against his stagnating life is the constant engine that drives this story. As his life crumbles around him, all seems lost for Dale, but he is inspired to an ultimate act of defiance that redeems him. The descriptions of this writer's life are funny and meaningful. However, the tidy ending after so much domestic chaos may be a bit unbelievable. This critically insightful diatribe against conformity is recommended for larger libraries.