Approximately Heaven

Approximately Heaven

A Novel

From prizewinning short story writer James Whorton, Jr., Approximately Heaven is a marvelously rambunctious debut novel about one hapless man's pursuit of happiness -- or at least another six-pack. Preferably both.
Don "Wendell" Brush is an unemployed 32-year-old Tennessee electrician who likes a few beers before lunch. Mary, his long-suffering wife, has decided to leave him, but Don, heartsick at the thought, beats her out the door. He reasons that if he leaves, Mary will have to stay behind in their ramshackle house to take care of their dog and cat. At least he'll know where she is. Out on the street with nothing to do until he can think of a way to win another chance with Mary, Don decides to take a road trip with his friend Dove Ellender, a retired, chain-drinking ex-felon with emphysema who is driving to Mississippi to deliver some furniture. If there's something else in the trailer, Don isn't asking and Dove's not telling.
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  • Free Press | 
  • 240 pages | 
  • ISBN 9780743244473 | 
  • January 2005
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Read an Excerpt

Chapter 1

It was a Saturday morning and I was up early and on the front porch, getting ready to slice a tomato and eat it. The dog was looking up at me like he wanted some and I reminded him, "You don't like tomatoes."

I had heard nothing from Mary all morning. I concluded she must be sleeping in, so when she finally came downstairs and stepped out on the porch, I thought it would be good fun to provoke her a little. I told her she ought not to lie in bed so late, because it made her eyes puffy as though she had been crying.

"I wasn't lying in bed," she said. "I was packing."


"I'm moving out, Don,"... see more

About the Author

James Whorton
Jim Dusen

James Whorton

James Whorton Jr. is the author of two other novels, Approximately Heaven and Frankland. A former Mississippian and former Tennessean, he lives in Rochester, New York with his wife and their daughter. He is an Associate Professor of writing and literature at SUNY Brockport.




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