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A Few Corrections by Brad Leithauser

A Few Corrections (2001)

by Brad Leithauser

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RESTORATION--Wesley Cross Sultan, 63, of 2135 N. Westhampton, died suddenly in Lyon Hospital in Stags Harbor, of heart failure.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0375411496, Hardcover)

This moving and resourceful novel by one of our most acclaimed writers opens with a newspaper obituary. The deceased is Wesley Sultan, a respectable, unexceptional, civic-minded midwestern businessman. But the novel’s first sentence hints of mysterious revelations to come: “There are at least a dozen errors here.”

Step by step, the book’s narrator—himself mysterious—sets about correcting the errors, investigating the deceptive but appealing Wesley Sultan by way of the lives he touched and often manipulated: his wives, his siblings, his
girlfriends, his children. Each chapter reprints the obituary but each time with a new handwritten amendment—correction piling upon correction until the original has been effectively demolished. It seems that businessman Wesley—handsome, dapper, flirtatious, and ambitious—lived a far more tangled and ambiguous life than the one he presented to the world.

A Few Corrections is both a psychological detective story and an epitaph for a vanishing figure—the gallant, sports-car-driving local Romeo who flourished in midcentury throughout small-town America. Written with humor and lyrical dash, it is also a compelling novel that explores its subject with wit and a flowering tenderness.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:15:12 -0400)

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