Excerpt from The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving by Jonathan Evison, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving

A Novel

By Jonathan Evison

The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • Hardcover: Aug 2012,
    288 pages.
    Paperback: May 2013,
    304 pages.

    Publication Information

  • Rate this book


Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt


Round and round we go. I reel them off. He declines them. It’s our daily exercise in independence, something I might have done with Piper when she was four years old.

Thursdays are something of a highlight, particularly that hour before the matinee, when we come to the food court at the mall to ogle women. Few spectacles are more conspicuous and ungainly than the masculine figure in crisis. Trev, at least, has youth in his defense. I’m just pathetic, I guess. From our preferred vantage opposite Cinnabon, we objectify, demystify, belittle, and generally marginalize the fair sex, as though we weren’t both completely terrified of them. “Look at the turd-cutter on her,” he says, of a poodle-haired blonde in tight jeans. “Would you tap that?”

“In a heartbeat,” I say.

Lolling his head to the side, he looks me in the eye. “I’d give her a Gorilla Mask.”

“I’d give her a Bulgarian Gas Mask,” I counter.

“I’d give her a German Knuckle Cake.”

“That’s fucked up,” I say.

“Thanks,” he says. “Should I ask her out for a pizza and a bang?”

“A bang and a pizza.”

“How about just a bang?”

“No, trust me, the pizza part is classy.”

Poodle Hair breezes by toting two Cajun corn dogs and some curly fries, with a boyfriend trailing in her perfumey wake. They take a table in front of Quiznos and begin eating together silently, as though they’ve been eating together their whole lives.

“What is she doing with that tool?” says Trev.

I wave them off. “She’s probably a psycho.”

“Yeah, they’re all psychos.”

We lapse into silence, and I wish I had a smoke. Strip away our routines, and we are little more than our hypotheticals. Last year, in this same food court, I asked Trev what he’d do if he awoke one morning with all of his muscle functions, which is about as hypothetical as it gets since his condition is progressive and incurable. I was thinking: Climb a mountain, run a marathon, chase a butterfly down a hill. He said: Take a piss standing up.

Poodle Hair and I exchange brief glances. Or maybe I’m imagining it. When I go fishing for a second glance, she is evasive. She’s getting cuter by the second. She looks good holding a corn dog. I’m now convinced I could spend the rest of my days beside her. Then we lock gazes. And for one delicious instant there is a spark of possibility. Possibility of what? Of getting my ass kicked by a two hundred pound cuckold? Or more pathetic still, the possibility of being loved again, by anyone?

Now Poodle Hair is whispering something to her boyfriend who lowers his corn dog midbite. I was wrong — he’s at least 220. He’s staring holes in me. All I can do is look at Trev’s checkered Vans and feel the heat of my face.

“What?” says Trev.

“Showtime,” I say.

And without further delay, we stand to leave — I stand to leave, anyway, acutely aware of the boyfriend’s eyes in my back like daggers. Trev hunches his shoulders to buttress the weight of his head, clutches his joystick with a knotted hand, and whirs around in a semicircle, piloting himself toward the exit.

“Regal or Cineplex?”

“Regal,” he says.

It’s always the Regal.

Excerpted from The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving by Jonathan Evison. Copyright © 2012 by Jonathan Evison. Excerpted by permission of Algonquin Books. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!
Member Benefits

Join Now!

Check the advantages!
Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year

    •  
    • FREE
    • MEMBER
    • Range of media reviews for each book
    • Excerpts of all featured books
    • Author bios, interviews and pronunciations
    • Browse by genre
    • Book club discussions
    • Book club advice and reading guides
    • BookBrowse reviews and "beyond the book" back-stories
    •  
    • Reviews of notable books ahead of publication
    •  
    • Free books to read and review (US Only)
    •  
    • Browse for the best books by time period, setting & theme
    •  
    • Read-alike suggestions for thousands of books and authors
    •  
    • 'My Reading List" to keep track of your books
    •  

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: The Promise
    The Promise
    by Ann Weisgarber
    Canadian author, Lucy Maud Montgomery of Anne of Green Gables fame, once wrote that "...all things ...
  • Book Jacket: Black Moon
    Black Moon
    by Kenneth Calhoun
    The popularity of book-turned-movie World War Z and television series The Walking Dead points to a ...
  • Book Jacket: Hyde
    Hyde
    by Daniel Levine
    In Robert Louis Stevenson's 1886 novel, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, the story ends ...

First Impressions

Members read and review books ahead
of publication. See what they think
in First Impressions!

Books that
expand your
horizons.

Visitors can view a lot of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only

Find out more.

Book Discussions
Book Jacket

Sailor Twain
by Mark Siegel

Published Mar. 2014

Join the discussion!

Win this book!
Win The Steady Running of the Hour

The Steady Running of the Hour

"Exciting, emotionally engaging and amibtious. I loved it!" - Kate Mosse

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

I T T O A Eye

and be entered to win..

Books thatinspire you.Handpicked.

Books you'll stay up all night reading; books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, books that will expand your mind and inspire you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.