As She Climbed Across the Table: A Novel by Jonathan Lethem

By Jonathan Lethem

Anna Karenina left her husband for a rushing officer. woman Chatterley left hers for the gamekeeper. Now Alice Coombs has her boyfriend for not anything … not anything at all.  simply how that are meant to have come to move and what Philip Engstrand, Alice’s spurned boyfriend, can do approximately it's the premise for this vertiginous speculative romance through the acclaimed writer of Gun, with Occasional Music.

Alice Coombs is a particle physicist, and she or he and her colleagues have created a void, a gap within the universe, that they have got taken to calling Lack. yet Lack is a nullity with taste—tastes; it absorbs a pomegranate, gentle bulbs, an argyle sock; it disdains a bow tie, an ice ax, and a scrambled duck egg. To Alice, this selectivity interprets as an impossible to resist character. To Philip, it makes Lack an unbeatable rival, for the way can he win Alice again from whatever that has no flaws—because it has no traits? inventive, hilarious, and certainly mind-expanding, As She Climbed around the Table is the simplest boy-meets-girl-meets-void tale ever written. 

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He paid for everything when we split up. He had drunk most of the bottle, but I had drunk a good bit myself, and eaten every bit as much as he had. They had been cooking some kind of fritters in that cantina, and those were the best things I had eaten since the mango in Veracruz. Probably I do not have to tell you what I did after we split up. I went back to Sabina's house and hung around outside hoping to see her maid again. Finally I went to the door, very polite, and told the manservant who answered it that I was looking for work, any kind of work, and that I had carried things for Señora earlier that day.

All the windows had iron grilles over them, and big shutters that could be closed over the grilles, too. But the shutters were open, and she blew me a kiss through the grille. I blew her a kiss back, and she went away. After that, I knew I would not see her again that night. I ran into Vasco and Simón, and asked them where they were putting up. They told me about their inn, saying it was not too big and about as cheap as anything decent and had good food and wine. So I went there. They were splitting a room.

This time I knew that most of the men who promised they would come back did not mean a word of it and would not come back until somebody came and got them. Which I was not about to do again. At first I thought I would just find a place on shore where I could get some sleep, maybe in the church where I had gotten to know the priest. Then I decided that the thing for me to do was to sneak back on board without Señor's seeing me. If I could do that, I could come back early, sling my hammock in the forecastle the way I always did, and crash.

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