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Titre : The Ha-Ha: A Novel.
Éditeur : Time Warner Book Group UK: Little Brown & Company, New York, NY
Date d'édition : 2005
Reliure : Hardcover
Etat de la jaquette : Dust Jacket Included
Signé : Signed by Author(s)
Edition : First Ed; First Printing indicated.
INSCRIBED AND SIGNED BY AUTHOR. First Ed; First Printing indicated. Very Good+ in Near Fine DJ: Book shows indications of light use: slight spine lean; minimal shelfwear; binding secure; text clean. DJ shows mild wear at upper corner tips and the faintest creasing along top edge; barely perceptible rubbing; price intact; mylar-protected. Overall, remains clean, sturdy, and quite presentable. NOT a Remainder. NOT a Book-Club Edition. NOT an Ex-Library copy. 8vo. 340pp. Hardback with DJ. INSCRIBED AND SIGNED BY AUTHOR. N° de réf. du libraire 29181
Synopsis : An unforgettable first novel about silence, family, and the imperative of love.
Howard Kapostash has not spoken in thirty years. Ever since a severe blow to the head during his days in the Army, words unravel in his mouth and letters on the page make no sense at all. Because of his extremely limited communication abilities—a small repertory of gestures and simple sounds—most people think he is disturbed. No one understands that Howard is still the same man he was before enlisting, still awed by the beauty of a landscape, still pining for his high school sweetheart, Sylvia.
Now Sylvia is a single mom with troubles of her own, and she needs Howard’s help. She is being hauled into a drug rehab program and she asks Howard to care for her nine-year-old son, Ryan. The presence of this nervous, resourceful boy in Howard’s life transforms him utterly. With a child’s happiness at stake, communication takes on a fresh urgency, and the routine that Howard has evolved over the years—designed specifically to minimize the agony of human contact—suddenly feels restrictive and even dangerous. Forced out of his groove, Howard finds unexpected delights (in baseball, in work, in meals with his housemates). His home comes alive with the joys, sorrows, and love of a real family. But these changes also open Howard to the risks of loss and to the rage he has spent a lifetime suppressing.
Written with a luminous simplicity and grace, The Ha-Ha follows Howard down his difficult path to a new life. It is a deeply moving and unforgettable story about the cost of war and the infinite worth of human connection
Critique: Peel back the made-for-TV-movie premise of Dave King's The Ha-Ha and you'll find a shrewd, engrossing, and occasionally gritty first novel in the tradition of Jane Smiley. Howard is a brain-damaged Vietnam vet who can't speak or write, but who has managed to establish a reasonably good life in his small Midwestern hometown. In fact, Howard's chief limitation isn't his silence but his lingering romantic attachment to his high school girlfriend, Sylvia, now the drug-addicted single mother of a nine-year-old boy named Ryan (not Howard's child). Accustomed to Howard's devotion--and equally accustomed to rejecting his love, like a campfire she pees on again and again--Sylvia more or less dumps Ryan on him when she is forced to enter rehab. Yes, the handicapped vet must forge a relationship with the sullen fatherless boy. With material as Hallmark-tinged like this, it's only through vivid, honest, and far from syrupy characterization that King keeps sentimentality at bay. You can predict what happens when the gruff Howard begins to coach Little League (aw, shucks), but not his ferocious reaction to Sylvia's eventual betrayal. A skillful debut with several surprises. --Regina Marler
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