Small Game

Overview

"It was the neighborhood spook house, vacant and neglected for almost a year. We got it at a closeout price. But it was no bargain." Scott and Kathy Ryan don't have much choice. A third child has made their small city apartment burst its seams, and Scott's market-research job pays barely enough to cover the earnest money on this old ruin of a house in an about-to-be gentrified neighborhood. Moving in, they set to work with an energy born of desperation. But it isn't long before Scott grows uneasy. The renovation seems to be taking forever, and ...
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1992-11-01 Hardcover New

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Overview

"It was the neighborhood spook house, vacant and neglected for almost a year. We got it at a closeout price. But it was no bargain." Scott and Kathy Ryan don't have much choice. A third child has made their small city apartment burst its seams, and Scott's market-research job pays barely enough to cover the earnest money on this old ruin of a house in an about-to-be gentrified neighborhood. Moving in, they set to work with an energy born of desperation. But it isn't long before Scott grows uneasy. The renovation seems to be taking forever, and his neighbors are acting decidedly odd. Meanwhile, at Scott's job, office colleagues are disappearing at an alarming rate as the recently merged conglomerate moves to consolidate with ruthless abandon. No one is safe. Newly spackled walls that fissure, freshly applied paint that blisters; household objects gone missing, then mysteriously reappearing in slightly altered condition at a neighbor's periodic yard sales; vigilante patrols poking into private places at all hours of the night; and a band of squirrels, oversexed and malignant, aggressively staking claim to more and more of the house: Scott Ryan finds himself battling a buckling, crumbling universe with only his paintbrushes and augers as weapons. Until he buys the gun. Interleaving each only marginally askew detail amid the quotidian and the familiar, Small Game moves in deft, quick steps from the comfortable and the customary to the offbeat and the downright bizarre until the reader is forced to ask if Scott is the victim of society's pressure to toe the line - or the victim of an overactive imagination. A mordantly funny tale of manners and mores in contemporary middle America, Small Game jolts us with the shock of recognition even as it releases us through the tonic of laughter.
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Editorial Reviews

Lindsay Throm
Blades' first novel explores what happens to a man when everything in his life begins to fall apart at the same time. In a direct, often blunt voice, Scott Ryan recounts his adventures after he buys a house that needs work and the work takes over and becomes his life. In addition to battling the structure itself, he jousts with odd neighbors, the natural elements, and the squirrels who also call his house home. And then people begin to disappear at his office. We hear the fear in his voice as he begins his story by telling us, "I bought the gun on a Wednesday, that much I can be certain of. If I think back carefully, I can probably even narrow it down to an exact date." After listening to Scott narrate everything that has happened to him, we recognize the paranoia in his fear. But by the time Scott sees this, by the time he says, "All I could think of, before losing consciousness, was how outrageous it was, how insane, to endanger my life, the lives of my wife and children, how wasteful it was to expend so much wrath and firepower on a single fucking squirrel," it is too late. This fast-paced story of a besieged man shows how quickly a small crack can become a gaping hole and how bizarre small game and life can be.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780805017892
  • Publisher: Holt, Henry & Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 10/6/1992
  • Edition description: 1st ed
  • Pages: 192

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