The Will: A Novel
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Finalist for the National Book Award: On the verge of receiving a vast inheritance, three brothers' clashing aspirations turn into an all-out war.
Brothers Leo and Max Land came to America from Romania in 1911, but they took different paths in pursuit of the American dream. Even as they worked together, Max sought out material things while Leo made a simple, private life for himself. Now, after the death of both brothers, Leo’s three sons - the only surviving heirs - learn that they stand to inherit a fortune. As they battle for control, they come to expose their own deeply complicated visions of success in America.
The Will is a stunning portrait of American idealism crushed under the weight of material desires.
school, college, professional studies. The abandonment of his practice would mean that Celia, already afflicted with the multiple sclerosis that could have only occasional remissions, would be forced to scratch along on their dwindling savings while he spent years in training analysis and re-established himself. What was more, he would have to bow out of the lives of his old patients, some of whom he loved better than he did his own wife. In the end he had lost his nerve. Persuading himself that
unread, while Ray babbled about bombs and brotherhood and hounded him, like one more reporter, for the inside dope. Staring first at his dead mother’s frightened, tentatively smiling countenance as she posed, gawky and rawboned, before Grant’s Tomb, beside her husband on their honeymoon, then at his brother’s rapt expression as he regarded the photograph, Ralph knew the sinking fear that comes to the man who has taken on too much. This was what Dr. Stark and Martin had been trying to convey to
it? He insists on sharing the estate with someone like Mel. But he has no compunctions about sending me to beg from a man who doesn’t even particularly like me.” Then he turned on me. “Is that your morality? To mooch off Dr. Stark on the long shot that you and I will get together?” “It can’t be a long shot. We have to come to an agreement. Otherwise what is there to live for?” He didn’t answer that, any more than I had answered all of his questions. He simply turned his back on me and stood
Shah’s, no matter. The interchangeable Communist and Free World Spacemen confronted each other in their cereal-box bubble suits. Over them all presided the same Polish newsdealer who had lurked in this same cavern fifteen and twenty years earlier. The same cigarette butt depended from his stubble-fringed lips, the same leer played across his wizened and cynical countenance. My sentinel, Ralph said to himself, the guardian of my erotic daydreams; he will outlive me yet. In the old Eighth Ward, at
that. And remember, you’re going to need me more than I need you.” Once again he found himself drawn, tempted to take her at her word, to tell her his sad story. A nice plump shoulder to weep on. That was fine for Ralph, the social-climbing sellout artist, it was just what he had been after, all these years. Not for me, Mel swore to himself, no band-aids for battle wounds. Supposing what she said was true? She’d fight like a wildcat for her baby, if not for Ralph. That alone put her on the wrong