Exit the Rainmaker

Jonathan Coleman, Author Atheneum Books $18.95 (401p) ISBN 978-0-689-11877-7
In 1982 Jay Carsey, age 47, president of a community college in Maryland, vanished, walking away not only from his job and 14-year marriage but from a seemingly enviable life. He left behind a couple of letters that offered no real explanation for his action. In a book as spellbinding as a first-rate whodunit, the author of At Mother's Request seeks reasons for this mystifying behavior. Carsey emerges as an alcoholic manipulator, trapped in a puffed-up self-image as father-figure and humanitarian, and plagued by deep-rooted feelings of fraudulence. We learn of traumas in Carsey's Texas boyhood, his entry into Maryland's nouveau riche society, the hollowness at the core of his outwardly near-perfect marriage. Coleman relates how Carsey planned his escape, and traces his moves during his new existence. Equally engrossing are Carsey's own Pirandellian interpretation of the flight and accounts by others in the drama, revealed after Carsey's cover was blown and the case became national news. The book, with its implication that the ``fantasy of wanting out'' is not uncommon, is disquieting. 100,000 first printing; $150,000 ad/promo; BOMC featured alternate; author tour. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 09/01/1989
Release date: 09/01/1989
Genre: Nonfiction
Mass Market Paperbound - 401 pages - 978-0-440-20752-8
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-0-930435-59-2
Paperback - 288 pages - 978-0-9673514-0-7
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