Book by Wagner Bruce
Les informations fournies dans la section « Synopsis » peuvent faire référence à une autre édition de ce titre.
The boy took long walks in the countryfied Bel-Air hills with Pullman, the stately Dane—ears like membranous tepees, one eye blue, the other a forlorn and bottomless brown, jowls pinkening toward nose, arctic-white coat mottled by “torn” patches characteristic of the harlequin breed, the whole length of him an inkspot archipelago—even though the animal didn’t seem particularly fond of such locomotion. Great Danes were majestic that way. They could take their jaunt or leave it.
When people learned what each was named, they usually said the two had it wrong—better the noble, gigantine champion to bear the burden of whimsy (Best of Breed to Trotter’s T. Lautrec) while his master coupled to Pullman, steady, scholar’d, sleeping car Pullman, nostalgically trestle-trundling under bald hills and starstruck sky, velour shadow of midnight passengers murmuring within. Not that “Pullman” fit so well for the boy, though it might: twelve-year-old Toulouse was thin and dreamy, with the requisite bedroom eyes. His tousled red hair verged on blood-black, and his skin was so clear that the freckles seemed suddenly evicted, their remains the faintest of blurred constellations.
So: Toulouse—etymology unknown. He suspected it had something to do with his dad, as most things cryptic or unspoken usually did. They had christened him Louis, after Grandpa Lou (Mr. Trotter, to the world), and his grandfather was the only one ever to call him that. For all the rest he was Tull. His mother had started it. An abbreviation in his own life, she was a connoisseur of abridgments. Toulouse: the boy always used that name in his head, the way one thinks in a different language. A father tongue.
There are no sidewalks in Bel-Air to speak of, and though his mother, Trinnie, forbade it, the boy and his dog regularly ventured from Grandpa’s estate on Saint-Cloud Road to walk the musky, sinuous asphalt lanes—baked warm as loaves—against traffic, so as not to be run down by neighborhood denizens in careering, souped-up Bentleys and polished, high-end SUVs or by celebrity-hunting tourists, who traveled at less speed but were likelier to remain at the scene of an accident. If Pullman was struck, Tull suavely imagined, there’d be victims galore. Like plowing into a mule deer.
They always found themselves at the strange house down the hill, on Carcassone Way. Well, from the road there was no house at all, no sign of the living, not even a graveled drive; merely a filigreed gate with the obscure and rusted barely discernible motto La Colonne Détruite. The entry’s metal wings, fastened with a cartoonishly oversized padlock, were under siege by a dusty, haughtily promiscuous creeper, evoking melancholy in the boy—the crass finality of a dream foreclosed. They discovered another way in. He rode the dog’s back through a desiccated hedge, the scratchy privet andromeda of a once finely pruned wall, until Pullman reached a clearing—quiddity of lawn smooth as the brim of some kind of wonderland bowler hat.
Inside, the sudden magical oddness of a centuries-old park. The empty, vaulted space, so queerly “public”-feeling, was serenely at odds with the neighborhood’s proprietary nature. Intersecting rings of a sundial armillary sphere sat atop a pedestal of English portland stone, and though Pullman drew near, it was not to relieve himself. Rather, he became instantly mindful and mannered; each time they broke in, the animal invariably yawned, downplaying his bold, jungly efforts. Tull Trotter’s heart sped, as it did with any adventure to this meadowy place, dipped as it were in trespasser’s spice. Mother being a landscape architect of world renown, his catchall mind knew its flora—there, in the green all-aloneness, he communed again with the elegantly attenuated pyramid of the Cryptomerias and pines; the billiardist whimsy of great clipped myrtle balls so carefully, carelessly scattered; a cutting shed made of morning glory; the junipers and wisteria that flanked the still, square ponds; then began his saunter toward the ominous allée of flat-topped Irish yews.
He knew where those ancient columned soldiers led.
As he entered, the air chilled and darkened. Pullman had vanished as surely as a magician’s offering. Tull walked through a phalanx of sentries until far enough in to see the wild, weird thing, two hundred yards off, set apart on a hillock . . . a stout, ruined column, fluted as Doric columns should be, rent with fissures, at least fifty feet in diameter, proportions suggesting it was all that remained of a temple forty stories tall. Whatever peculiar god had made this base had provided it with crazily bejeweled windows too, oval, square and pentagonal, then snapped the tower off five floors up, where tufted weeds sprang from its serrations like hair from an old man’s ear. What could he make of it? The boy had never even gotten close enough to peer in. Now he moved inexorably nearer, at once cool and febrile, the capricious breath of open fields rushing at him like a breezy compress on the forehead during a sickbed hallucination.
Now he could see white, tented forms—furniture?—in the rooms within, but was interrupted when a daymare shape came from nowhere shouting, “Little fucker!” Tull was startled enough that he couldn’t read any features, though it was wearing bib overalls, the perfect parody of a ghoulish Mr. Greenjeans. In a blink, the figure rudely tumbled, care of a certain Dane; the terrified man, having met a fair match for the Olympian pedestal’s remains, retreated to the severed column while Tull made a sprinting Hardy Boy getaway. Regal and unruffled, Pullman strutted a beat in his master’s direction, then paused, slyly turning with calm eye and tarry muzzle to fire a last warning shot toward the groundskeeper—the astonished head of whom already appeared in an upper portal of the cylindrical mirage. Then, like a Saturday-morning-television creation, the aristocratic beast leapt toward his charge, through the chilly gantlet of yews, past the huge myrtle balls leading to the brambled entry that would carry them back to Carcassone Way and the homely, reassuring traffic of the world.
From the Hardcover edition.
Virtuosic . . . [attests] not only to Mr. Wagner’s range as a writer—his ability to write with affecting sincerity as well as satiric glee—but also to his power as a storyteller to beguile.” —Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times
“Lavishly imagined . . . Wagner [dares] his readers to be so callous as to question fiction’s ability to imagine the impossible.” —The Boston Globe
“Wagner’s astute portrayal of the follies of the rich is exceeded by his skill at rendering the lives of the poor. The chapters on Amaryllis . . . are worthy of a latter-day Dickens.”— The Washington Post
“Brilliant, inventive, and entertaining . . . a rip-roaring, special-effects-filled ride.” — New York
“Combines social satire on the scale of Thackeray’s Vanity Fair with a hipness that has become Wagner’s trademark.” — GQ
“A brash authorial voice . . . tinged with melancholy . . . a sincere exploration of life, death and immortality.”— People
Les informations fournies dans la section « A propos du livre » peuvent faire référence à une autre édition de ce titre.
Description du livre Random House Trade Paperbacks. PAPERBACK. État : New. 0812968476 Ships promptly from Texas. N° de réf. du libraire HGT7753GAGG032717H0016
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Description du livre Random House Trade Paperbacks, 2003. Paperback. État : New. N° de réf. du libraire DADAX0812968476
Description du livre Random House Trade Paperbacks, 2003. Paperback. État : New. book. N° de réf. du libraire 0812968476
Description du livre Random House Inc, 2003. Paperback. État : Brand New. reprint edition. 576 pages. 8.00x5.25x1.50 inches. In Stock. N° de réf. du libraire 0812968476
Description du livre Random House Trade Paperbacks, 2003. Paperback. État : New. N° de réf. du libraire P110812968476