16 year old Elgin Marble has had enough of a world that is decidedly vertical. When his father, an upstanding elevator man, is marked for disposal, Elgin joins an underground group called the Crabs. This illicit group tirelessly digs tunnels in the hope of one day breaking through to the outside. But who are the Crabs, and can they be trusted? Elgin's mother, Ellen, is worried sick about her son. The ruthless school principal, Mr. Orion, warns her that Elgin is in big trouble and blackmails her for sexual favors. Together they go underground to search for the boy. Meanwhile, agents of the IVT (Institute for Vertical Thinking) are also hot on his trail, and the Crabs are feeling the heat.
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About the Author
Peter Wortsman is the author of four books including the memoir/travelogue Ghost Dance in Berlin. He has written two stage plays and produced many translations from the German including Tales of the German Imagination, from the Brothers Grimm to Ingeborg Bachmann, 2013. His travel writing has been selected five years in a row for The Best Travel Writing 2008-2012. He has won numerous awards and is a former Fellow of the Fulbright (1973) and Thomas J. Watson (1974) Foundations, and he was the Holtzbrinck Fellow at the American Academy in Berlin in Spring 2010.