The Slide: A Novel
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
At once an offbeat love story, a moving portrait of a family in crisis, and a darkly funny American comedy, Kyle Beachy’s arresting debut novel—written in prose that is swift, stunning, and sweet—heralds the arrival of a remarkable new voice in fiction.
Potter Mays retreats immediately after college graduation to the safe house of his childhood home. Like clockwork each morning, his mother makes him eggs, lovingly fried into hollowed-out pieces of toast. His father, in the midst of a campaign to revitalize downtown St. Louis, promises to “poke around” for gainful employment for his son. Potter’s best friend, Stuart—an “Independent Thought Contractor” working out of his parents’ lavish pool house—is willing to serve as a kind of life coach, provided, of course, that Potter pays for his services all summer.
Altogether elsewhere, Potter’s (former? future?) girlfriend, Audrey, is backpacking around Europe with her beautiful bisexual traveling companion, Carmel. Potter was not invited, and getting a good night’s sleep has recently become an issue for him.
As enigmatic packages arrive from Audrey, the refuge of life at home soon proves illusory. Potter’s parents are oddly never in the same room together, the neighbor girl is looking quite adult, and Stuart’s much-needed counseling service is subcontracted to a third-party denizen of the pool house with an agenda all his own. And just what are those noises coming from the attic?
Kyle Beachy has woven a uniquely affecting story of the long and hard, then quick and hard, struggle to grow up.
need the air conditioner. The odor of barbecue hovered thick and smoky everywhere we went. Grilled MEAT. Zoe ejected the CD and tossed it into the backseat. I chose a case from the floor mat and quickly scanned its song list. Once again I was appalled. What nature of person would combine these songs? I slid the disk into the player and went to track four. “Go right,” I said. “I like this one,” she said. “Who is this?” “Johnny Cash, one of a select few men who could get away with doing Taco
sit there while she pounded the rest of her drink and lay back down into her lounger. Swallowing and smiling with disgust. I couldn't imagine what her eyes might have looked like behind the glasses. “Little pussy boy, look at you. Who's the tall muscle freak? Edward? Edmund? Least that one's got a set of balls on him. By association I figured you had something going on too. Now I look at you and wish I didn't have to.” “I have to be back at work. Should I get you another drink before I go?”
failures, broken models. We gauche wardens of history, entrusted with treasure, carrying hopes inside clumsy shaking hands while our fathers kept watch, appraising, eyes falling shut under the weight of shame. We who managed to crumble beneath pressure's absence. Crying aloud, here!, Father, here is what I do with our name. Here, here, now call me son and love me until you die. Once the wave died down, Stuart said he was going for a bratwurst and did I want one. “Take some money. Let me pay.”
sauv blanc.” She sat down next to me. “I'm not sure I feel like talking about wine,” I said. The plan required a certain amount of toughness and resolve. “Oh?” “Wine intimidates with the language it evokes. Same with stocks and racehorses. I ask you about a wine, you tell me of its nose and hints of pencil shavings. You mention pear. And then I taste the wine and nod and you win.” “Win this competition we're having,” she said. “Just that wine is a field based on saying the right words at
“Quicker.” “My red hoodie. My blue zip-up hoodie. A bunch of bootie socks. Who knows what else.” “Your socks fit Audrey.” “Sort of,” I said. “This is all very important information, thank you.” I wondered how long Stuart had been in here with the credit card. I sat still and watched him rub his thighs and dart eyes around the room while in the kitchen someone deployed a sequence of words into a cell phone, some foreign code, and outside through the French doors I saw Edsel Denk bounce and