“Early in this hilarious novel, readers will be laughing out loud, but Tesich is ultimately quite serious about reminding us that moments or years of ‘unlove’ can never be set right.” Publishers Weekly (starred)
Open City Books
978-1-890447-37-3 • $14.00 • Paperback • May 2004
Originally published in 1998, shortly after the author’s untimely death, this splendid paperback edition, with an introduction by E. L. Doctorow, brings to the spotlight a book of shining causticity, humor, insight, and originality
Saul Karoo thinks. But understanding eludes. He lusts. And sometimes with success. He drinks. But he cannot get drunk. Karoo is a professional fixer of other people’s scripts and, by his own acknowledgment, he ruins them all.
Calamity and comedy follow shambolic Saul Karoo as his life breaks down. But he is not without resources, namely his wit, his ex-wife, and his irrepressible soul, which in its own way is reminiscent of another bighearted broken man of literature: Saul Bellow’s Herzog. Finally, he is a man prone to luck both bad and good, and when a young woman with a strange connection to his past shows up, the plot of his own life comes into sharp focus.
Steve Tesich has grounded his story in the highly recognizable world of New York in the late 1980s, a milieu of unscrupulous producers from the West Coast, dry cleaners, divorce, and fantasies of escape. Karoo is a haunting, highly human, deliciously realistic novel of decline, fall, and rejuvenation.