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Objects easily appear and disappear in Peck’s hands, and so do people. “Into the void,” the young magician writes on a sheet of paper. “What’s supposed to happen doesn’t” and “What’s not supposed to happen does.” That’s all the sense he can make of life, and the uncertainty produces hilarious results. The “theory of failed expectations”if you can’t control the outcome, then roll with it. And roll he does, all the way to Puerto Villarta, Corfu, and Parisletting life come to him rather than searching for the “divination of secrets.” In the end, he finds both.
“For the record, I am in this book and you are in this book. When they make the movie, it’s going to feature everybody. David Kranes writes from the marrow, and this novel is fierce and crammed with heart. It’s cerebral and cinematic, and if feelslike all of Kranes’ proselike something new and something old. A man loves his life in the ways he can, and Peck’s ways are rich. I would say this book is about family and love and time. But it isn’t about something, it is something! If I were with you now, I’d put it in your hand. Wait, fortune, it has already appeared! So, now you’ll see what I mean.” Ron Carlson, author of A Kind of Flying.
|Publisher:||Signature Books, Incorporated|
|Product dimensions:||5.50(w) x 8.00(h) x 1.50(d)|
|Age Range:||14 Years|
About the Author
David Kranes is an emeritus professor of English at the University of Utah. His novels include Keno Runner and Margins; his short story, “Cordials,” won the 1996 Pushcart Prize, followed the next year by Low Tide in the Desert: Nevada Stories, which won the Western Heritage Award for Best Short Story. Two of his plays, Cantrell and Going In, were published in Best American Short Plays, 1987, and Horay won the CBS Playwrights Award. He served for fourteen years as artistic director of the Sundance Playwrights’ Lab.
Read an Excerpt
When Peck was eleven and felt invisible, his father, the doctor, brought magic home. It was a surprise. Peck heard his father say to his mother: “Hopefully it will bring him out.” There was a silk handkerchief which, when Peck coiled his hand on it, whisked red to green … then green to red again. There was a wooden egg Peck could make appear and disappear from a red bag on a black stick. There was a deck of cards which, when Peck riffled, forced anyone who reached to pick the jack of hearts. There were two Chinese sticks with tasseled strings which Peck could make dance invisibly. Peck and his father spent the evening together reading instructions, practicing, rehearsing. Everything seemed magic that night. Everything seemed possible. Peck’s mother brought fresh-baked cookies and hot cider. And when one of his father’s patients called, his father said: “Tell them I’m not available. Tell them Dr. Wyman is on call.”
So the message Peck received that eleven-year-old day was that you could start out the day alone, dropping beech leaves into the brook at the Underwood Estate and feeling queer about yourself like a runt animal or freak. Then that night you could be with your family doing tricks and nothing else mattered, everyone you loved would be interested in you and there with you, treating you as if they were you. And words would come into your mouth. You could talk. You could stand at one end of your father’s room and fool your parents and they would love you. Anything was possible. Peck would never forget that lesson.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Making the Ghost Dance: In clear, clean, beautiful prose David Kranes slowly captured me into following a life as it unfolded -- the life of a man, a son, a magician, a father, a friend: an everyman named Peck. At times I wondered if Kranes was playing with me, manipulating me, which only made what he wrote the more real. As I read the last pages I found tears come to my eyes. I knew I had gone as far as I could, as had the story.