Eureka

Jim Lehrer, Author
Jim Lehrer, Author . Random $24.95 (228p) ISBN 978-1-4000-6487-8
Paperback - 245 pages - 978-0-8129-7552-9
Open Ebook - 155 pages - 978-1-58836-788-4
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Spurred on by the sight of a toy he never received as a child, a restless, aging Eureka, Kans., insurance executive relives his youth with disastrous (and hilarious) results in the 17th novel by Lehrer, prolific writer and PBS NewsHour anchor. Otis Halstead, 59, married father of one, is in the clutches of a midlife crisis spending spree; he dismisses his nagging wife’s pleas that he see a therapist and continues buying items he’s always dreamed of owning: a miniature fire truck (now a collector’s item that goes for $12,000), a BB gun, a football helmet and an antique red Cushman motor scooter. The suicide of disillusioned co-worker Pete Wetmore (who left behind a telling note) provides the impetus for Otis to mount the scooter and leave town. But a steady string of bad luck finds a hospitalized Otis back in Eureka faking a coma to buy time for some heavy, overdue retrospection and one final decision. Calamity gives way to poignancy in this consistently fun story buoyed by an endearing protagonist readers will cheer for. (Oct.)

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