Sorrow Floats

Sorrow Floats

4.0 15
by Tim Sandlin
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

"Tim Sandlin's stuff is as tight and funny as anyone doing this comedy novel thing." -Christopher Moore

Maurey has hit rock bottom, with a bottle of whiskey and an infamous reputation, she'll do anything to get out of town. Even drive two ex-drunks cross-country hauling a trailer full of illegal beer.

Everyone in GroVont, Wyoming, knows

…  See more details below

Overview

"Tim Sandlin's stuff is as tight and funny as anyone doing this comedy novel thing." -Christopher Moore

Maurey has hit rock bottom, with a bottle of whiskey and an infamous reputation, she'll do anything to get out of town. Even drive two ex-drunks cross-country hauling a trailer full of illegal beer.

Everyone in GroVont, Wyoming, knows everybody else's business, but Maurey Pierce Talbot is practically famous around town.

Sunk low since her father died, whiskey - specifically Yukon Jack - is her best friend. When she makes the mistake of a lifetime, Maurey finds herself looking up from rock bottom.

So when two bumbling ex-drunks need to get cross-country with a trailer full of illegal beer, Maurey takes the wheel. Sometimes you just need to get out of town. And sometimes you need to get lost in order to get found.

The dark comedy and heartfelt revelations will appeal to fans of Jack Kerouac, Tom Robbins, Larry McMurtry, Joseph Heller, John Irving, Kurt Vonnegut, and Carl Hiaasen.

Other books in Tim Sandlin's GroVant Trilogy:
Skipped Parts, Book 1
Sorrow Floats, Book 2
Social Blunders, Book 3
Lydia, Book 4

What readers are saying about Sorrow Floats:

"I've never cheered harder for a fictional character."

"Maurey is an appealing character; her voice is strong and clear even if her path forward isn't."

"Being a huge fan of ROAD TRIPS AND RAUNCHINESS, I absolutely loved this book."

"Sandlin really allows you to feel her anger, pain, confusion and tenderness."

"Funny, kind of wise and sentimental at the end."

"It's required reading for women, alcoholics, tortured writers"

"Maurey Pierce is a flawed, broken, beautiful character... it's a NOVEL ABOUT BEING ALIVE."

"cathartic and deep"

"Favorite. Book. Ever."

What reviewers are saying about Sorrow Floats:

"Able storytelling and an engaging cast of dysfunctional modern American pilgrims..." -Publishers Weekly (STARRED REVIEW)

"A rousing piece of Americana...rowdy, raunchy...A TOTAL DELIGHT." -Library Journal

"Tim Sandlin's fiction packs a punch. The writer's fictional Wyoming town is a grungier version of Garrison Keillor's Lake Wobegon." -Denver Post

"A zany road trip across America" -Cosmopolitan"Sandlin understands that black comedy is only a tiny slip away from despair, and he handles this walk without a misstep." -Dallas Morning News

What everyone is saying about Tim Sandlin:

"Tim Sandlin's stuff is as tight and funny as anyone doing this comedy novel thing." -Christopher Moore

"His prose, his characters, all amazing."

"A story of grand faux pas and dazzling dysfunction...a wildly satirical look at the absurdities of modern life." -The New York Times Book Review

Read More

Editorial Reviews

The Barnes & Noble Review
The GroVont Trilogy

When was the last time you were so taken with a book that you found yourself making excuses to read instead of: a) working, b) sleeping, c) paying attention to your wife and child, d) all of the above? Take my word for it, there's a price to be paid for each of these indiscretions. But Tim Sandlin's GroVont trilogy (SKIPPED PARTS, SORROW FLOATS, SOCIAL BLUNDERS) is worth it.

Earlier this year SKIPPED PARTS was recommended to me by two readers of very different tastes. At first I hesitated — if this Sandlin guy was such a great writer, why had I never heard of him? The answer to that question was, of course, somewhat humbling. In the final pages of the trilogy, Sandlin's hero, Sam Callahan, muses, "When I was young I had this strange feeling everyone around me knew something I didn't know. Turns out I was right."

I know exactly how he feels.

Let me make amends for this particular social blunder: SKIPPED PARTS didn't just take me by surprise, it blindsided me, left me dazed and desperately groping for the next installment. But don't just take my word: The new Riverhead editions are shamelessly prefaced with four pages of similarly awestruck blurbs, including raves from such luminaries as Larry McMurtry, John Nichols, and Kim Gordon of Sonic Youth (an endorsement that has earned Sandlin the dubious honorific, "the voice of grunge").

Beginning in 1963 and set roughly ten years apart in succession, these novels range from wide-eyed wonder to soul scorching catharsis to slapstick farce as they record a changing Americafromthe wonderfully skewed perspective of the extended Callahan clan. SKIPPED PARTS opens as thirteen-year-old Sam Callahan and his mother, Lydia, find themselves exiled from the family manor in Greensboro, North Carolina, to the Martian landscape of GroVont, Wyoming. This latest salvo in a titanic battle of wills has been fired by family patriarch and carbon paper baron Caspar Callahan, not only in response to his wayward daughter's latest indiscretion, but also to remove Sam from the corrupting influence of — would you believe it? — baseball. (Caspar not only burns Sam's prized baseball card collection in a ritual bonfire, but chooses GroVont precisely because it is "farther from a major baseball team than any other spot in the country.") Sam is admonished to restrict himself to the contemplation of his future role in the Callahan carbon paper empire, but his attentions soon stray to dark-haired, blue-eyed Maury Pierce. The short stories Sam is forever injecting into the narrative shift dramatically from pennant races to pubescent fantasies as he vies with Maury for the vaunted title of school know-it-all — and gradually the two outsiders find common ground in their mutual love of books.

While Lydia sulks in her taxidermically enhanced cabin, either nursing or recovering from her nightly pint of gin, — Sam and Maury begin to explore aspects of Steinbeck, Heller, and D.H. Lawrence not taught in AP English. Maury proposes to Sam that as friends, they should help each other lose their virginity — in order to avoid future embarrassments when they are old enough to have real girl and boyfriends. Sam is only too eager to comply, but when the physical logistics prove daunting, they apply to the resident expert for coaching. Lydia's hilarious Tex-Mex inspired instructions meet with resounding success, and a rigorous practice schedule is begun in order to perfect the technique. When Maury decides it is time to road-test their new found skills, she selects the moon-faced Chuckette Morris as a suitable steady for Sam, and for herself, chooses Dothan Talbot, scion of a family of relocated southern rednecks in which all the children have been named after cities in Alabama. Predictably, this is all too much for Sam — despite his promise not to "get squirrelly," he cannot bear the thought of sharing Maury with anyone else. At the ripe old age of thirteen he has found the defining love of his life, and, with his Romantic turn of mind, he half suspects that life is going to be all downhill from there.

His suspicions are confirmed when Maury announces to all concerned that she is pregnant. Worse, she has no intention of dropping Dothan and expects Sam to fulfill his social obligations to Chuckette! Confused, elated with the prospect of fatherhood and terrified at the idea that Maury's rancher father might appear at any moment with a gelding knife, Sam wonders, not for the first (nor the last) time, just where he fits in this unsolvable equation. SORROW FLOATS finds Maury Pierce married miserably to Dothan Talbot, mourning the death of her father and drowning her sorrows in Everclear. When Dothan uses her alcoholism as an excuse to take custody of their child and move in with the tramp next door, Maury knows her only hope is to get Sam's help. But Sam has moved back to North Carolina, and to get there she must team up with two symbiotically paired recovering alcoholics — one a "fat cripple" with a talent for imaginative prevarication and the other a weatherbeaten knight errant — on a Ken Kesey-inspired cross country road trip.

SOCIAL BLUNDERS once again focuses on Sam — now 33-years old and reeling from the break up of his second marriage. Carbon paper has given way to golf carts, and his scribbling has finally resulted in a string of popular Young Adult sports novels. But when he decides work through heartbreak by tracking down his real father — one of the five football players Lydia claims gang-raped her when she was 15 — he becomes mired in a Mrs. Robinsonesque dilemma that is likely to shock even the most unshockable reader. To give away more would be criminal — you'll simply have to read it for yourself.

At a critical point in SORROW FLOATS the crippled road warrior Shane likens his extravagant gloss on reality to an obscure third century cleric's defense of the miracle of faith: "Credo quia absurdum est — This is too absurd to be made up, therefore it must be true." Sandlin must have taken this as his personal credo, as his gift for suspending disbelief and transforming the most far-fetched situations into the realm of everyday occurrence is indeed nothing short of miraculous.

—Greg Marrs

Read More

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781402241734
Publisher:
Sourcebooks
Publication date:
09/07/2010
Series:
GroVont Series, #2
Pages:
448
Product dimensions:
5.30(w) x 7.90(h) x 1.30(d)

Read an Excerpt

From the Prologue

My behavior slipped after Daddy died and went to San Francisco. I danced barefoot in bars, I flipped the bird at churches. Early one morning in April I drove Dothan's new pickup truck off the Snake River dike, and when the tow truck crew showed up they found me squatting on a snow patch in my nightgown crying over the body of a dead plover.

Not that I'd ever been the Betty Crocker showcase woman. All through my teens GroVont townfolk called me "that Maurey Pierce girl," then after I came home from the university it became "that Maurey Talbot woman." But by May I'd taken to midday drinking and the writing of a daily picture postcard to Dad. I mostly sent him photographs of the Tetons from various views at various times of year-sunset from the top of Signal Mountain in winter, Jenny Lake on a cobalt clear day. I searched the valley curio shops for pictures of fall because Dad always did enjoy golden aspens and red chokecherries. What Dad didn't like was cute kids in station wagons feeding Yellowstone bears. He looked at Yellowstone as a big zoo of tame animals and lost tourists.

The pictures weren't all mountains and ain't nature wonderful shots. On Easter I mailed him the postcard of Clover the Killer with a rope around his neck sitting on a bow-back gelding surrounded by tourists in car coats and sneakers. Clover is wearing a red plaid shirt and he has only one eye; the other side of his face is an empty cavern that goes way in there to pink, wrinkled skin-no glass eyeball or black patch or anything, just a hole.

On the back I wrote: "As the one-eyed whore said to the traveling salesman after he nailed her in the socket, 'Hurry on back now, mister. I'll keep an eye out for you.'"

- - - -

The tide of public opinion swung to my male slut husband, Dothan, after I cut my hair short and took to carrying Dad's gopher popper in my windbreaker pocket. Nine-tenths of the men in Teton County drive around armed to the armpits, but let a woman pack a little Dan Wesson model 12 .357 Magnum with a four-inch, satin blue barrel, and the feed store cronies commence rolling their eyes and gabbing on about the Pierce family tendency to fall off the deep end.

Everybody says you've got to have balls to get respect in this world, but I couldn't help noticing that with that satin blue barrel poking out, the service improved considerably at Kimball's Food Market. The guy at the Esso station moved right along when I said check the oil. Even Dothan cut down on criticizing my dusty kitchen surfaces.

Dad won Charley-that's what I call him-with two pair jacks high at a stock show in Billings. I didn't load Charley with bullets. What I did was pretend he's a penis without a man, which is the only kind I like. Probably some strange psychological word for carrying a disembodied prick in your pocket, but I don't care. Where other people knock on wood, I rub my rod.

Why did I fight the demon? Which leads to why did I drink? Why did the world in all its parts press down on me from every direction until I reached the point of personifying whiskey? "Whisky My Only Friend," "Let Me Go Home, Whisky," "Whisky River Take My Mind," "Tonight the Bottle Let Me Down," "Tiny Bubbles," "Wine Me Up," "Mean Old Whiskey," "One Hundred Bottles of Beer on the Wall, One Hundred Bottles of Beer."

On my fourteenth birthday, before my first ever period, I had a baby named Shannon. Shannon is now eight and a half and beautiful, living in North Carolina with her natural father because I couldn't take care of her. Let's stress that-because I couldn't take care of her.

My son, Auburn, the light of my dark, frigid nights, started existence by defying the poison of Delfen foam, came out breech, had jaundice at three days and an undeveloped esophagus that wouldn't close for nearly six months. Dothan blamed me, of course, and Auburn has howled at the colossal cheat that is life ever since.

Dad's dead; you know about him.

Mom is a story unto herself. Don't get me started on Mom. She cleans and perfects meat loaf recipes and hums show tunes. Every third year or so she takes her clothes off in public- usually rodeos-and goes to pharmaceutical heaven for a few days, where they give her sponge baths and take the laces out of her shoes. My little brother, Petey, takes care of Mom after these periods, and the very thought of him sponge-bathing her white, droopy body gives me the willies.

Dothan sells real estate. He has the dates and times of all the Kiwanis meetings penciled on his calendar, not because he's a Kiwanian, but because he knows those are safe days to visit the members' wives. That pretty much says it all about my marriage.

I'm making a point here. My downfall can't be blamed on histrionics. In May of 1973, the day it all got up and went, I had as much cause to drink lunch and write picture postcards to a dead father in San Francisco as anyone.

Read More

What People are saying about this

John Nichols
"Sorrow Floats is about a trip you will never want to end. It's blasphemous, cantankerous, full of insight and platfalls and all the relevant human yearnings."
W. P. Kinsella
"Tim Sandlin just keeps getting better and better. Sorrow Floats is funny, raunchy, and heartbreaking."

Meet the Author

Tim Sandlin has published eight novels. Two of his screenplays have been made into movies. He turned forty with no phone, TV, or flush toilet and spent more time talking to the characters in his head than the people around him. He now has seven phone lines, four TVs he doesn't watch, three flush toilets, and a two-headed shower. He lives happily (indoors) with his family in Jackson, Wyoming.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >

Sorrow Floats 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 14 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I can, as a real person, relate to this book on every level. The fictional characters come alive for me and there are experiences to be had by all. If you are in any sort of situation where you have to think twice about where you are and where you want to go this book is for you. It's an amazing ability to over come of circumstance in ones life.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
CENookie More than 1 year ago
Tim's characters are real characters in every sense of the word. Laughable, easy reading. Read the entire Grovont Trilogy, then pick up Lydia, his newest. You won't be able to put them down, and will find yourself laughing out loud!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great story about the adventures of Maurie and her gang of misfits. A book you won't be able to put down.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Rereading again to prep for latesr novel, Lydia Still great
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
I love these books. They are a good read anytime. Funny and soulfull.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I was recommended this book by a friend. I started it on a plane hoping to fall asleep. I could not stop reading and read the trilogy. Sandlin brings his characters to life and it is hard not to relate to one of them!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Rainbreeze sighed and looked at her kits.