The Development: Nine Stories

The Development: Nine Stories

John Barth

Language: English

Pages: 167

ISBN: 0547394500

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

“I find myself inclined to set down for whomever, before my memory goes kaput altogether, some account of our little community, in particular of what Margie and I consider to have been its most interesting hour: the summer of the Peeping Tom.” Something has disturbed the comfortably retired denizens of a pristine Florida-style gated community in Chesapeake Bay country. In the dawn of the new millennium and the evening of their lives, these empty nesters discover that their tidy enclave can be as colorful, shocking, and surreal as any of John Barth’s fictional locales. From the high jinks of a toga party to marital infidelities, a baffling suicide pact, and the sudden, apocalyptic destruction of the short-lived development, Barth brings mordant humor and compassion to the lives of characters we all know well. From “one of the most prodigally gifted comic novelists writing in English today” (Newsweek), The Development is John Barth at his most accessible and sympathetic best.













I are a pair of those "experienced author-professors" mentioned in the school's ads, who out of teacherly habit here remind you that Experienced doesn't necessarily mean Good, much less Successful. Not likely you'll have heard of the "fictionist" George Newett or his versifying spouse Amanda Todd, even if you're one of those ever scarcer Americans who still read literature for pleasure (as you must be if you're reading this, if it ever gets published, if it ever gets written). Oh, I scored the

Twenty-Something [G. I. Newett]) Progressive Dinner 1. Hors D'oeuvres and Appetizers "Hey, Rob! Hey, Shirley! Come on in, guys!" "And the Beckers are right behind us. Hi-ho, Debbie! Hi-ho, Peter!" "Come in, come in. Nametags on the table there, everybody. Drinks in the kitchen, goodies in the dining room and out on the deck. Yo there, Jeff and Marsha!" "You made your taco dip, Sandy! Hooray! And Shirley brought those jalapeño thingies that Pete can't keep hands off of. Come on in, Tom

it and each other all these years; let's end it peacefully and painlessly before things go downhill, which is really the only way they can go from here. "And let our friends and neighbors and children clean up the mess?" David presses her. "Would you and Pete do that to us?" "Count me out," Peter declares. "For another couple decades anyhow, unless the world goes to hell even faster than it's going now." "In our case," his wife reminds the Bergmans, "it's friends, neighbors, and colleagues.

pottery-making, or smiling at one another across bridge and dining tables. On the other, such Internet chatroom grumbles both from some residents and from their relatives as The food sucks, actually, if you've been used to eating real food, and Be warned: It's college dorm life all over again—at age eighty!, and Frankly, it's the effing pits. The best Margie and Tim could guess was that temperamentally upbeat, outgoing, people-enjoying types were likely to find their continuing-care situation at

prayed, reflected, or merely fidgeted, their chairperson could pretty well tell who was doing what by raising his eyes while lowering his head, stroking his short-trimmed beard, and noting the lowered heads with closed eyes (Spartina Pointers Mark Matthews and his self-designated trophy wife, Mindy; Mark's investment-counseling protégé Joe Barnes from Rockfish Reach; and his afore-mentioned cheerleaders Chuck and Sandy Becker, among others), the defiantly raised heads and wide-open eyes (notably

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