C larke's fourth book (after the story collection Carrying the Torch ) is the delightfully dark story of Sam Pulsifer, the &"/>
 

An Arsonist's Guide to Writers' Homes in New England

Brock Clarke, Author
Brock Clarke, Author . Algonquin $24.95 (305p) ISBN 978-1-56512-551-3
Reviewed on: 05/07/2007
Release date: 09/01/2007
Hardcover - 499 pages - 978-1-4104-0285-1
Paperback - 317 pages - 978-1-56512-614-5
Paperback - 303 pages - 978-0-09-953296-5
Open Ebook - 317 pages - 978-1-56512-638-1
Hardcover - 978-1-84782-459-2
Hardcover - 303 pages - 978-0-434-01841-3
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C larke's fourth book (after the story collection Carrying the Torch ) is the delightfully dark story of Sam Pulsifer, the “accidental arsonist and murderer” narrator who leads readers through a multilayered, flame-filled adventure about literature, lies, love and life. Growing up in Amherst, Mass., with an editor for a father and an English teacher for a mother, Sam was fed endless stories that fueled (literally and figuratively) the rest of his life. Thus, the blurred boundaries between fact and fiction, story and reality become the landscape for amusing and provocative adventures that begin when, at age 18, Sam accidentally torches the Emily Dickinson Homestead, killing two people. After serving 10 years, Sam tries to distance himself from his past through college, employment, marriage and fatherhood, but he eventually winds up back in his parents' home, separated from his wife and jobless. When more literary landmarks go up in flames, Sam is the likely suspect, and his determination to find the actual arsonist uncovers family secrets and more than a bit about human nature. Sam is equal parts fall guy and tour guide in this bighearted and wily jolt to the American literary legacy. (Sept.)

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