The Grand Tour

Adam O’Fallon Price. Doubleday, $26.95 (320p) ISBN 978-0-385-54095-7
Overweight, middle-aged, and alcoholic, Vietnam veteran and failed writer Richard Lazar is living in a trailer in the Arizona desert in 2005 when his Vietnam War memoir is published and becomes a smash hit. Richard is launched on a cross-country book tour of signings and readings, a disaster waiting to happen. In Price’s excellent debut novel, he nails Richard’s unpleasant character perfectly, a weak and flawed man who disappoints everyone around him, especially himself. At a reading at a college in Washington, Richard meets Vance Allerby, a college dropout and wannabe writer, who idolizes Richard and is his most ardent fan. These unlikely pals, the cynical drunk and the naive idealist, team up for Richard’s book-tour road trip (Richard hates to fly and Vance likes to drive). Together they embark on an alcohol-fueled adventure filled with embarrassing public pratfalls, funny and poignant barroom philosophy, and the uncomfortable realization that they actually need each other, even for just a few months. Richard is suddenly famous and can’t handle it, but Vance is a lonely guy whose only manuscript Richard has thrown into the trash. Vance has always wanted to be an ideal version of Richard but is utterly disappointed that his idol is a bum. Still, the two make it to New York City, where a surprise ending caps off the story. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 06/27/2016
Release date: 08/09/2016
Genre: Fiction
Pre-Recorded Audio Player - 978-1-5047-6637-1
Paperback - 320 pages - 978-1-101-97080-5
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