By Anne Tyler
During this, her fourteenth novel—and one in all her such a lot endearing—Anne Tyler tells the tale of a lovely loser who's attempting to get his existence so as.
Barnaby Gaitlin has been in difficulty ever because youth. He had this behavior of breaking into different people's homes. It wasn't the massive loot he was once after, like his teenage cohorts. It used to be simply that he cherished to learn different people's mail, pore over their relatives picture albums, and applicable some of their worthwhile mementos.
But for 11 years now, he's been operating gradually for Rent-a-Back, renting his again to outdated fogeys and shut-ins who can't flow their very own porch furnishings or convey the Christmas tree down from the attic. ultimately, his lifestyles appears to be like on an excellent keel.
Still, the Gaitlins (of "old" Baltimore) can't put out of your mind the cost they paid for purchasing off Barnaby's former sufferers. And his ex-wife might simply as quickly he didn't appear ever to go to their little woman, Opal. Even the great, regular girl (his mother or father angel?) who turns out to have designs on him doesn't totally belief him, it develops, while the chips are down, and it seems to be as if his global may perhaps collapse again.
There is not any one like Anne Tyler, along with her sharp, humorous, soft perceptions approximately how people navigate on a confusing planet, and she or he retains us enthralled from begin to end during this scrumptious new novel.
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Extra resources for A Patchwork Planet
It feels like yesterday, these starlings scattering ridge to ridge, this shrill of gnats near ditches And breath comes easier now in the evening coolnessglimpses of huddled lightning above a day I haven't imagined yet Part Three Page 37 Palma Cathedral The island cathedral of Palma de Mallorca, Spain, nicknamed ''La Seu" by the Mallorcans, reaches the highest pitch in the line of Catalan hall-churches. The tourist, often arriving from Barcelona, the nearest Peninsular city, might naturally draw mental comparisons between the two seaport cathedrals, especially since Barcelona's softly sculptured interior is extraordinarily dim, while Palma is the only luminous sanctuary in the Levant, and perhaps the finest achievement in light of the Gothic world.
Here he saw nothing; he couldn't get used to the scale. The great jeweled rose mooned high in the clifflike west, Pouring in a delirium of blazing Blue and crimson; while, along the chiseled Surfaces, deep in the traceried chapels And smoky dependencies, shadows were felt As folds in the light, tints lacking a definite source. Page 39 2 Climbing the steps of the Placa de Cort, he'd noticed A certain numbness in his step; he felt it again When he counted his first pesetas out to the guard; Now his sea-legs wouldn't quite work.
Dryden's Aeneid 1 Far on the outskirts Turnus watched in dread as firebrands rained into the wounded city rooftops falling in in sheets of flame He took a step He broke out in a dead run toward the town, flying through undergrowth without pain or effort, like a ghost down paths of its childhood. Approaching the Trojan lines that ringed Laurentum, scattered stragglers stared at him in wonder: without breaking stride he cut through rank on rank of troops drawn up in earshot of the front, their earthworkspitchfires horses shivering in the dew-drenched shade He ran through the roaring of his own blood, and there in the midst of the siege itself, smoke drifting over the cleared groundsinging of arrowsthudding hooves of the cavalry in sorties, called him out 2 Beneath an eerie mingling of Latins and Trojans, women thronging the ramparts, craning to see Aeneas himself in gold and crimsonawed by the pine-tree spear, and the spectacle of the shield There far below, two figures fumed in glare closed hand to hand, as Turnus lunged for blood flaring up at full height, lashing out the shield at first shock shattering his blade and ran again on dream-legs drained of sense, stared at the broken hilt he still held hemmed-in circling treading water blankness lostness stride for stride Page 28 his life poured out like water.