Peter Leroy explores one of his earliest memories, his mother’s tumble from her lawn chair; probes the root causes of his childhood pelecypodophobia (fear of bivalve mollusks, particularly... More > clams); navigates the upper reaches of the Bolotomy River; builds a radio receiver and explores the farthest reaches of the galaxy; ponders the differences between dour foxes and happy clams; falls in love with the girl with the white fur muff; learns the pleasures of skating on ice and taking the long way home; becomes a fan of the Larry Peters Adventure series; and rises to the rank of Aluminum Commodore in the Young Tars.< Less
Peter Leroy receives his sexual initiation at the hands of the Glynn twins, becomes a sketch doctor, listens to many tales about the night the Nevsky mansion burned, learns the value of hope, and... More > discovers the love of his life.
As is usual with Peter's recollections, we are never certain where memory ends and imagination begins—but we are certain that we are reading the work of a brilliant memoirist who reconstructs his past with wry humor, nostalgia, satire, and dazzling invention.
“A witty and wildly digressive epistemological examination in the form of a childhood reminiscence.”
The New Yorker
“Wholly engaging . . . a daring tour de force.”
Jonathan Baumbach, The New York Times Book Review
“One of the more hilariously erotic pieces of writing since Lolita.”
Edward Hannibal, The East Hampton Star< Less
Peter Leroy constructs a plausible adult life for his grade school chum Matthew Barber, now living in Boston, where he is vice-president of a toy company by day, but becomes Bertram W. Beath,... More > restaurant reviewer, when the sun goes down.
Reservations Recommended is a satire of the critical mind; a dark commentary on contemporary culture; a story of midlife crisis; a morality play; and a book that matches bleakness against humor, seasoned throughout with B. W. Beath’s hilariously acid reviews. We watch as Matthew Barber descends from a self-protective superiority into a species of madness, and into the dark night of the soul.
“A brilliant satire.”
“A merciless sendup of contemporary American pretensions.’
Janice Harayda, Cleveland Plain Dealer
“Wonderfully readable . . . touching and intelligent.”
Richard Gehr, The Village Voice< Less
Peter Leroy finally completes a junior-high-school science assignment, thirty years late, exploring along the way quantum physics, entropy, epistemology, principles of uncertainty and discontinuity,... More > a range of life’s Big Questions, and his memories of his intoxicating science teacher, Miss Rheingold.
“Warm . . . thought-provoking . . . charming . . . delightful.”
Library Journal (starred review)
“A book designed to leave its readers—and it deserves many of them—as happy as clams.”
Walter Satterthwait, The New York Times Book Review
“Luminously intelligent fun.”