The Great Gray Lady Meets Perry L. Crandall.
Here's the copy from today's NY Times, "New Releases." This isn't a review, mind you, just a notice of a new release. I expect to see Perry in the Sunday Book Review this fall though, don't you?
By Patricia Wood
310 pages. G. P. Putnam’s Sons. $24.95.
In the line of literature’s holy fools, running from, say, the utterly simple-minded Chance in “Being There” to the bombastically cunning Ignatius J. Reilly in “A Confederacy of Dunces,” the protagonist of Patricia Wood’s first novel lands somewhere in the middle, not far from Forrest Gump.
Perry L. Crandall’s I.Q, is 76, and as he says, “You have to have an I.Q. number less than 75 to be retarded.” He has lived a cosseted life in a small seaside town with his aging Gram. “She always called me lucky and honest,” Perry reports before explaining, for our benefit, “Being honest means you don’t know any better.”
Gram also, fortunately, warned him about his craven relatives. But then Gram dies, and Perry (named for TV’s Perry Mason) wins the Washington State Lottery, and the family buzzards circle. So do a few angels. But Perry is up to the challenge. “What a crock,” he exclaims at one point, before explaining, for our benefit, “Crock means untrue or a lie. It can also mean a pot you cook beans in.”