2009: 101. The Many Aspects of Mobile Home Living

“In 1969, when Evers Wheeling was a boy in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, man in filling-station uniforms still checked your car’s oil, pumped high-test gate out of heavy silver nozzles and cleaned your windshield with a spray bottle and blue, quilted wipe.”

The Many Aspects of Mobile Home Living, Martin Clark

        I have no idea how we got this book - I’ve never heard of it, or the author, and the cover is so ridiculous, I can hardly imagine picking it up on a whim.  I have a faint memory that Jon found it for free somewhere, and thought the title was funny, but I wouldn’t swear to it in open court.  Anyway, its sat on my shelf for a while, and I finally came around to the C shelf, in looking for a commuting book, and I thought, well, why not.  And you know, it was reasonably entertaining, if a little bizarre, which is all you can ask of a book you know nothing about.

      It’s a shaggy dog story of a lawyer in North Carolina (or maybe South Carolina.  Yankee bias here, I’m afraid), who has been appointed to the bench, and now is just slowly biding his time, drinking a little, hanging out with his brother, fighting with his estranged wife.  One day a woman comes to him with an offer that seems too good to be true - help her brother get out of a drug charge and she’ll invite him on a life changing quest.  Bored, he agrees to help (well after a good bit about making sure that he isn’t being set up by a corruption unit), only to be sent on a drawn out adventure that might be mystical or might just be bizarre.  It’s a weird book in that the plot is all over the place - its as laid back as our underachieving protagonist - but, you know, once I got into it I finished the whole thing, and it’s written with a grace that belies the strange plot.  Plus, the author is clearly a lawyer, and I like to read stories where the law is done right, and makes sense.  Even when Judge Wheeling is acting like a criminal or a fool, he’s acting in character, and like a lawyer (even a disaffected one).  It’s amazing how many books - even by people with law degrees - don’t get that right.

Date/Place Completed:  August 2009; D.C.

Categories:  Fiction, Commuting Book

© Carrie Dunsmore 2017