Excerpt from Disappearing Into View by Andrew K. Stone, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reviews |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

Disappearing Into View

A Novel

by Andrew K. Stone

Disappearing Into View
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • Paperback:
    Nov 2001, 260 pages

  • Rate this book


Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt

Chapter One
The Legend of the Squab

When I was fifteen years old my home was blown up, but that's not the reason I'm homeless. After the explosion - and the subsequent aftershocks - that shattered my world, I made a conscious decision to remove myself from society. I don't regret that decision. My ten years on the street have been an invaluable experience and I've learned many lessons, most particularly how wrong I was. But I never would have realized this had I not run away. Before I left society, questions and doubts enshrouded me like a second skin. However, the transience of street life makes it difficult for too much moss to gather, and I suppose it was only natural that eventually I would have stumbled upon larger revelations. These came at a cost of pain and loss but the alternative would have been much worse. Remaining stagnant, my second skin would have solidified and, as a result of this emotional alchemy, I would have been sealed off to the point of suffocating inside of myself. I never would have felt a thing….


Technically, I told myself, there was nothing dishonest about it. If you order squab at a restaurant, it stands to reason you know what you're getting. Therefore, you're probably not going to ask where it came from; after all, how many times have you inquired about the slaughterhouse which produced your steak? Most people have a notion that a cow was slaughtered somewhere near Chicago, and they leave it at that; no one really wants to think about the details. No one ever worries that their food might be, in any way, substandard. But the restaurant owners know everything about the food they serve. They've got the upper hand and, unless you ask probing questions up front, you put your trust in those hands.

Deep down I knew it was wrong, but it was a case of survival. I had to permit myself to believe in the technicalities of the transactions. If I didn't, I couldn't have gone through with it.

But it was more than just survival. I once saw a headline in the Herald peeking out from the window of a yellow newspaper box. The accompanying article related how the suspected Unabomber had been living in a shack in the middle of nowhere. I envied him. I thought it must have been wonderful to live like that - free from society. But now I've realized that society is the one thing we cannot be free of. Its boundaries are like the glass walls of an aquarium: invisible and impenetrable. It is our whole world and we are the fish swimming inside. We can swim solitarily but we cannot pass through the glass; it holds our world together and without it, life would drain from around us all.

But at fifteen, I had thought differently. I thought I could detach myself from society and only duck my head through its door when absolutely necessary. It was those times when I'd show up in the alleyways of some of the finer restaurants in Boston with my little canvas sack. A transaction would be made, and I would walk back through the door, weighted down by some cash and my technicalities.

This worked for years until the evening Sid picked the wrong bird out of my bag.

"I don't think you'll want that one, Mr. Sid. I was going to throw it away. It didn't look very good."

"Aah, I'll do you a favor," he said. "I'll take it off your hands half price, seeing as you were gonna toss it, anyway."

"It may have been sick."

He laughed, the tip of his ever-present cigar glowing like a brake light.

"Always the salesman, Cole," Sid chuckled. "Okay, then I'll give you two bucks. What's the use of throwing it away?"

"Well…."

He laughed again and handed me two more crumpled bills. Although the brake light flashed between his teeth, I thought about the pack of cigarettes I could buy and put the money in my pocket.

Copyright 2001 Andrew K. Stone. All rights reserved. This book, or parts thereof, may not be printed in any form without permission. For permission to reprint this excerpt, please contact www.sotherebooks.com.

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!

One-Month Free Membership

Join Today!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Harmony
    Harmony
    by Carolyn Parkhurst
    In previous novels such as The Dogs of Babel and Lost and Found, Carolyn Parkhurst has shown herself...
  • Book Jacket: Commonwealth
    Commonwealth
    by Ann Patchett
    Opening Ann Patchett's novel Commonwealth about two semi-functional mid-late 20th Century ...
  • Book Jacket: A Gentleman in Moscow
    A Gentleman in Moscow
    by Amor Towles
    It is June 21, 1922, and 33-year-old Count Alexander Ilyich Rostov is convicted of being a class ...

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    The Tea Planter's Wife
    by Dinah Jefferies

    An utterly engrossing, compulsive page-turner set in 1920s Ceylon.

    Read Member Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    Darling Days
    by iO Tillett Wright

    A devastatingly powerful memoir of one young woman's extraordinary coming of age.

    Read Member Reviews

Book Discussions
Book Jacket
This Must Be the Place
by Maggie O'Farrell

An irresistible love story for fans of Beautiful Ruins and Where'd You Go, Bernadette?

About the book
Join the discussion!
Win this book!
Win Blood at the Root

Blood at the Root

"A gripping, timely, and important examination of American racism."
- PW Starred Review

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

D C Y C Before T A H

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

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

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.

 
X

Free Weekly Newsletter

Keep up with what's happening in the world of books:
Reviews, previews, interviews and more!



Spam Free: Your email is never shared with anyone; opt out any time.