The Here and Now

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Overview

Carter Morris is a high-priced corporate lawyer, negotiating the class-action suit of a lifetime which will result in a massive settlement. As he ponders his sellout, he relives significant moments of his youth, literally. From air raid drills to his arrest for protesting, his memories pull him out of present time and back into the past.

Carter tracks down his childhood best friend, the college sweetheart who broke his heart and his idolized older brother who was blown into a ...

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The Here and Now: A Novel

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Overview

Carter Morris is a high-priced corporate lawyer, negotiating the class-action suit of a lifetime which will result in a massive settlement. As he ponders his sellout, he relives significant moments of his youth, literally. From air raid drills to his arrest for protesting, his memories pull him out of present time and back into the past.

Carter tracks down his childhood best friend, the college sweetheart who broke his heart and his idolized older brother who was blown into a fragment of his former self in Vietnam. Meanwhile he struggles to understand what happened to his idealism and his best intentions.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Thought provoking... The novel's moral message might seem heavy-handed if its observations didn't ring so true." - WSJ

"Well, what a sermon! But that's what Easterbrook has written, a thought-provoking sermon [which] deserves an evangelical 'enthusiastic', tent-meeting review." Carolyn See, Washington Post

"An engaging fable... Easterbrook gets in some good satirical licks against a variety of reprehensible targets... More insidious is the way that people have been led to believe that economic injustice is inevitable... Reading "The Here and Now" is like attending a pep rally against this kind of defeatism." -Los Angeles Times

"[Easterbrook's]engagement with social and spiritual causes comes through clearly in this satisfying tale of disillusionment and redemption." -San Francisco Chronicle

Publishers Weekly
Lost idealism is the subject of Easterbrook's second novel, an earnest but clumsy morality play about a troubled corporate lawyer who, on the eve of a major settlement, starts reliving scenes from his youth. Just as he's about to close a deal, Carter Morris is literally transported back to a classroom from his early childhood: after sitting through a nuclear attack drill, he returns home to find his father building a bomb shelter. Morris returns to the present and resumes negotiations, shaken by the incident, but more time trips follow, one taking him back to a military hospital where he tries to help his brother, Mack, who was injured in Vietnam. Morris's disappearances quickly compromise his role in the case, and he finds himself replaced as lead counsel by a libidinous young female colleague after he spurns her advances. The flashbacks turn romantic when Morris meets his eventual wife, Jayne Anne, in a series of scenes that replay their meeting at a college protest in the '60s and their life on a commune. The gimmick of presenting life lessons through a series of trips into the past seems worn out, and Easterbrook (This Magic Moment) compounds the problem by having Morris spew familiar rants about the excesses of the legal system and the material culture that has spawned it. (Dec. 11) Forecast: A book that would otherwise get lost in the holiday shuffle may be helped by the fact that Easterbrook is an editor at both the Atlantic Monthly and the New Republic. Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Easterbrook turns to the novel again (This Magic Moment, not reviewed) after some serious nonfiction (Beside Still Waters, 1998, etc.) and does quite well: involuntary time-travel to his better past self nearly queers a very big deal for a hotshot lawyer. Jaded and deeply unhappy attorney Carter Morris, whose ridiculous but apparently legal solution to the problems of the fashion chain Value Neutral is about to rain big-big money on himself and the openly amoral law firm in which he is a partner, has begun to scare the daylights out of his colleagues. At a succession of critical moments leading to the consummation of the super settlement, Carter keeps vanishing. Literally. Negotiations with Value Neutral have taken him to the city and scene of his youthful triumphs as a Galahad in the 1960s peace movement, and he keeps bumping into himself--as a young man. In very confused pre-incarnations, he’s continually popping back to particular Carters, beginning with the sweaty, baseball-playing prepubescent Carter and working his way through to the Carter of the great moment when he saved a huge rally from governmental interference, met Walter Cronkite, and possibly set a real-life future senator on his political path. To greatly complicate things, the land of his past, unlike Narnia, does not return him to the present with only a few minutes gone missing. Instead, he’s returned a very inconvenient one or two days late from wherever he was supposed to be, usually a vital meeting. Fortunately, each absence, however much it may enrage his partners, seems to make an admiring Value Neutral voluntarily cough up ever more millions. The retro-trips become increasingly poignant as Carter reviews failedrelationships with his childhood pal, his brother, and Jayne Ann, the lost love of his life. Will he reclaim his ideals? Will he patch things up with everybody, including himself? Will he keep the money? Sort of a men’s weeper, but funny, sexy, and thoughtful.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312286477
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 12/11/2002
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 5.70 (w) x 8.64 (h) x 0.99 (d)

Meet the Author

Gregg Easterbrook

Gregg Easterbrook lives in Bethesda, Maryland with his wife and three children. He is a contributing editor to The Atlantic Monthly, a senior editor of New Republic and a visiting fellow at the Brookings Institute.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 2 )
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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 14, 2013

    Shadow

    I know i dont..

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 14, 2013

    About new bloodclan

    Striking and toxin agreed to merge bloodclan and evil thrive. Striking talked to aspen broken and devil. Broken devides to throw rogueclan in the mix because its so small and inactive apparently. They theb fought over who should be leader. They finally decided on toxin striking and aspen. Devil and broken are deputy. May be a third but dont know if toxin chose his yet. Of course much of bloodclan hates striking so him telling them to move was, uh, difficult lets say. Then yesterday everyone just kept arguing with striking saying he aint leader and that no one will ever follow him (which isnt working too well for them). Course no one seems to like toxin either for some reason. Anyway then today more join and or come back and rogueclan members finally arrive. They see this mess and freak and well, some just flatout didnt like this...

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