Excerpt from Absolute Rage by Robert K. Tanenbaum, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

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

Absolute Rage

by Robert K. Tanenbaum

Absolute Rage
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Aug 2002, 368 pages
    Paperback:
    Jul 2003, 480 pages

  • Rate this book


Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt


"Completely different in every respect. You can barely get a word out of him. Gianni, as you see, is an artist." Giancarlo was carving a delicate arch in a thin curtain of sand.

"I don't see how he gets it to stick together," said Rose. "It's marvelous."

"Oh, yes. Sometimes a little too marvelous for daily use. Zak never picks up a crayon. His thing is war, guns, blowing things up, taking things apart, heavy machinery. That's why he skipped the beach today. We're having a backhoe in to rip out and replace a water pipe to the kennels. Watching a backhoe is his idea of paradise."

"He should meet my husband. They'd have a lot to talk about."

"Your husband runs a backhoe?"

"A dragline. Or did. He's with the union now."

"Really? I'm not sure I know what a dragline is."

"It's an excavation machine. The bucket can take a hundred and fifty yards at a bite, three hundred tons or so. The powerhouse is the size of a small office building. They use them in open-pit mining."

"Presumably not on Long Island, though."

Rose laughed. "Oh, no. Robbens County, West Virginia. That's where we're from. Or that's where Ralph is from. I'm from next door. The big white house."

"There's a story there."

"Oh, yes. Oh, yes, indeed."

"I want to hear it. Let me get the beer."

So Marlene dragged her cooler over and they sat under the umbrella and slowly drank and rubbed the icy bottles against neck and forehead, watching the slow, remarkable extension of Giancarlo's sand palace, and talking. Rose talked, rather, and Marlene listened. She seemed good at it, professional even, and Rose was not surprised to learn that she had been a prosecuting attorney in New York and later a private detective.

Marlene, for her part, after offering the minimum personal data, was content to let the other woman ramble on. Rose Heeney was the sort of woman she had never been much interested in, a type she privately called the Cheerleader. She had been exposed to a number at Smith. They had golden hair and blue eyes and were fair and round of limb. They wore kilts and circle pins and had bright, straight teeth. They strolled in laughing gaggles, dated fraternity boys, and married early -- she read their names (invariably triple-barreled) in the alumnae news. And Rose Wickham Heeney was what they became, it seemed. Or not quite. Heeney had not been in the master plan of the Wickhams. They had not envisioned an Irish roughneck dragline operator for their golden girl.

They focused, naturally enough, on the kids. Besides Lizzie, there were two sons, Emmett, twenty, and Daniel, eighteen. The former had gone to Wheeling for a couple of years, then dropped out to work in the pit. Dan was at MIT. Marlene detected regret in her tone, and a pride in the younger that could never be fully expressed lest it hurt the older boy.

"Do you really have a daughter," Rose asked, "or did he make that up, too?"

"No, Lucy's real enough. She's in Boston, too, as a matter of fact, at BC, a freshman."

"Oh, good," Rose said, smiling. "And I assume she doesn't speak forty-eight languages and can put her shoes on right."

"I don't know about the shoes, but she does speak something like that many."

"You're kidding me!"

"No, actually not. She's some kind of language prodigy. Scientists come in from all over the world to study her, and good luck to them. I have not been blessed with normal children. Although, Zak seems normal enough, except for being Gianni's twin. I think he makes a practice of it. So how did you and...?"

"Ralph, but everyone calls him Red."

Marlene glanced at the blaze of copper on Lizzie's head. "I should have guessed. How did you and Red hook up?"

Copyright © 2002 by Robert K. Tanenbaum.

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!

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member
and discover your next great read!

Join Today!

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
The Opposite of Everyone
by Joshilyn Jackson

"Quirky and appealing characters, an engaging story, and honest dialogue make this a great book!"
- BookBrowse

About the book
Join the discussion!

Award Winners

  • Book Jacket: A Great Reckoning
    A Great Reckoning
    by Louise Penny
    Canadian author Louise Penny is back with her twelfth entry in the Chief Inspector Armand Gamache ...
  • Book Jacket: Homegoing
    Homegoing
    by Yaa Gyasi
    It's all very well to challenge people to be the masters of their own destiny, but when you&#...
  • Book Jacket: When Breath Becomes Air
    When Breath Becomes Air
    by Paul Kalanithi
    When Breath Becomes Air is the autobiography of Paul Kalanithi, written in the time period between ...

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    Victoria
    by Daisy Goodwin

    Daisy Goodwin breathes new life into Victoria's story, and does so with sensitivity, verve, and wit." - Amanda Foreman

    Read Member Reviews

Who Said...

Never read a book through merely because you have begun it

Click Here to find out who said this, as well as discovering other famous literary quotes!

Word Play

The Big Holiday Wordplay:
$400+ in Prizes

Enter Now

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.