The Sleep of the Aborigines
This final volume of Rick Harsch's Driftless trilogy opens with a dead man floating face down in a municipal swimming pool, a bullet in his head, his hat and narrative still in place. The victim is a writer named Rick Harsh. Spleen, a newspaperman, twin brother of the hero of The Driftless Zone and a friend of the dead writer, arrives on the scene determined to solve the murder. Spleen's decision to investigate the story means that he won't be leaving La Crosse with his wife, the Brilliant Redhead, who is apparently leaving him and taking their two eerily precocious children with her to Tennessee, where she has accepted a position teaching philosophy. Spleen's decision will affect his life in ways more immediate and devastating than he ever could have imagined. Over the course of the day he will be attacked by a mad dog; twice psychoanalyzed - first by a bored mayor (the evil Skunk Lane Forhension of Billy Verite) and then by an insightful transvestite (Bette Davis from The Driftless Zone); become aroused by several women; closely reexamine the last fifteen years of his life until he recognizes the nomad deep in his soul; and along the Borgesian way stumble ominously in Harsh's steps toward the truth of a crime far darker than the mere murder of a writer.The dead writer is himself a large presence in the novel, haunting its pages from above and below, commenting upon matters of life and death, society, memory, and literature, while being as surprised as the reader at the bizarre twists and turns of Spleen's hunt for his killer.
- Paperback | 172 pages
- 140.7 x 214.4 x 11.9mm | 213.19g
- 01 Dec 2002
- Steerforth Press
- South Royalton, United States