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Gentlemen of Space

Gentlemen of Space

A Novel

  • customer reviews
Magnolia Court is not the most magical place in Florida, but to Georgie Finch, his suburban development is the center of the universe. In this superbly crafted novel, Georgie tells us the story of how his neighborhood and his family change in 1976 when his father, Jerry, wins a contest to become the first civilian man on the moon.
Once Jerry is shot into space, Magnolia Court turns into the worst sort of American media circus, and Georgie finds himself navigating through star-struck admirers and their card tables, Winnebagos, cookouts, and telescopes. When Jerry goes missing, the camp turns into a vigil, punctuated by potluck suppers and banners. Eventually the astronauts return to Earth without Jerry and descend on Magnolia Court -- in their spacesuits -- to pay their respects. All the while Georgie gets phone calls from his father in space, but no one believes him. Should we? Or is Georgie's entire story just that, a story?
A feat of literary ventriloquism, Gentlemen of Space is surprising, captivating, and astronomically inventive.
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  • Free Press | 
  • 304 pages | 
  • ISBN 9780743242196 | 
  • May 2004
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Read an Excerpt

Chapter One: About the Author

Memory passes below, like clouds over the earth, the winking lights of cities. Florida slipping into the color of oceans; the little figure eight near the shore of the green peninsula, double loop of seven asterisks, like stars drawn by some childish hand. Small stars full of lives, lives full of those small stars that make up a life: the taste of wallpaper, cornflower blue, patterned like a woman's dress in the slender hall between kitchen and living room; the iron crust of water beneath a sink; oily linoleum slipping and burning against my knees -- a playland for trucks without the endless... see more

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