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Purple America : a novel (edition 1997)
by Rick Moody
References to this work on external resources.
Wikipedia in English
Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0316559776, Paperback)Purple America begins in a bathtub and ends in Long Island Sound. In between, Rick Moody's latest novel explores the landscape of a family in crisis. Dexter (Hex) Raitliffe, a freelance publicist, returns home to care for his mother, Billie, who is dying by inches of a neurological disease that will rob her of motion, of speech, and finally of thought. Billie's second husband has left her--a fact that Hex is unaware of until he comes home--and her only hope for assisted suicide lies in her son. Unfortunately, Hex is barely able to conduct his own life, much less take his mother's. Purple America takes place over the course of a single night; in that night, Hex gives his mother a bath, reconnects with an old love, gets drunk, and goes after his stepfather to confront him, with tragic results.
As Moody weaves his tale of this fateful Friday evening, he juxtaposes themes of aging, obsolescence, and physical decline with an accident at the nuclear power plant where his stepfather works. What lifts this novel above its rather depressing subject matter is Moody's unsentimental storytelling and the soaring language with which he gives his characters voice. Purple America is by turns lyrical, tragic, ferocious, and funny, and Rick Moody is a writer with a brilliant future ahead of him.
(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 14:01:01 -0400)
A son returns home to look after his mother, abandoned by his stepfather. The novel follows him as he handles the chores, gets drunk and has a romance on the side. The mother, in a wheel chair and incontinent, extracts a promise that he will kill her if she gets worse. In the background hovers the stepfather, unable to decide whether to return. The setting is a wealthy suburb in Connecticut. By the author of The Ice Storm.
(summary from another edition)
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