Excerpt from Big Machine by Victor LaValle, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

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Big Machine

A Novel

by Victor LaValle

Big Machine
  • Critics' Opinion:

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  • First Published:
    Aug 2009, 384 pages
    Paperback:
    Mar 2010, 384 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Marnie Colton

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About this Book

Print Excerpt


“Ricky Rice!”

“Aw, Cheryl!” I shouted.

“Enough of that! You get out here!”

I would, but not yet. I stepped out of the stall and rose onto my toes, getting the soaked sheet as close to the windows as possible. I could see black ink on the paper. Make out the same handwriting that had scribbled my name on the outside of that envelope.

“I mean it, Ricky.”

Cheryl pushed and strained at the door, and the wheels of my cleaning cart squeaked as they rolled. I blew on the paper to dry it. The cursive was small, but neat, legible.

The wooden door swung open. I heard its steel handle clang against the stone wall.

I paid no more attention to Cheryl because now I could read the two lines of the note:

You made a promise in Cedar Rapids in 2002.

Time to honor it.

Without thinking, purely automatic, I walked back into that filthy toilet stall and flushed the note away.

But not the ticket.

Excerpted from Big Machine by Victor LaValle Copyright © 2009 by Victor LaValle. Excerpted by permission of Spiegel & Grau, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

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