Sneaky People: A Novel

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The time is the 1930s. Buddy Sandifer, dressed in his natty white flannels, baby-blue shirt, striped tie, tan-and-white shoes, and coconut-straw hat with polka-dot band, is falling into one of his moods. Owner of a used-car lot and father of a fifteen-year-old son with a penchant for sex manuals, Buddy has decided to murder his wife and marry his mistress, Laverne, a robust blonde who cooks his favorite meal of fried pork chops, fried potatoes, and fried apples while wearing a short pink apron over black-lace step-ins and brassiere, long-gartered silk stockings, and platform shoes. The only problem is how to arrange the crime.
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About the author

Thomas Berger is the author of twenty-three novels. His previous novels include Best Friends, Meeting Evil, and The Feud, which was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. His Little Big Man is known throughout the world.

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Reviews

3.6
5 total
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Additional Information

Publisher
Simon and Schuster
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Published on
Jul 15, 2005
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Pages
320
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ISBN
9780743287609
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Features
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / General
Fiction / Literary
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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Thomas Berger
Nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, The Feud chronicles a hilariously destructive rivalry between families from neighboring towns in 1930s America.

"I marked my copy of THE FEUD with a star wherever its blend of irony, parody and slapstick made me laugh out loud; some pages look like a map of the Milky Way." —The Washington Post Book World

“A comic masterpiece” —Anne Tyler

What begins as a small spat over an unlit cigar in a hardware store spirals out of control for Dolf Beller and Bud Bullard. Dolf has come to make good on a promise he made to his wife years ago. Feeling generous, he’s finally getting around to stripping the varnish off her dresser to reveal the mahogany within. It’s a job he’s never done before, and worst of all, the teenager that’s supposed to be helping him at the counter begins hassling him for chomping on an unlit cigar.

When Bud Jr. calls over his father to talk things out, Dolf is about ready for a fight. He just wasn’t prepared to have a gun drawn on him by a one of Bud Bullard’s relative—who just happened to be there and happened to love impersonating a police officer. Left embarrassed and begging for his life, Dolf goes home and tells a version of his story his pride can live with. He also bars his family from communicating with any of the Bullards. Conflict resolved.

Until the next day, when Bud’s hardware store goes up in flames and Dolf’s car explodes. Unable to see the incidents as unrelated, these two families enter a battle that’s as bitter as it is funny. With rich characters dotting every page, this is a Berger classic that can’t be put down.
Thomas Berger
“The truth is always made up of little particulars which sound ridiculous when repeated.” So says Jack Crabb, the 111-year-old narrator of Thomas Berger’s 1964 masterpiece of American fiction, Little Big Man. Berger claimed the Western as serious literature with this savage and epic account of one man’s extraordinary double life.

After surviving the massacre of his pioneer family, ten-year-old Jack is adopted by an Indian chief who nicknames him Little Big Man. As a Cheyenne, he feasts on dog, loves four wives, and sees his people butchered by horse soldiers commanded by General George Armstrong Custer. Later, living as a white man once more, he hunts the buffalo to near-extinction, tangles with Wyatt Earp, cheats Wild Bill Hickok, and fights in the Battle of Little Bighorn alongside Custer himself—a man he’d sworn to kill. Hailed by The Nation as “a seminal event,” Little Big Man is a singular literary achievement that, like its hero, only gets better with age.

Praise for Little Big Man
 
“An epic such as Mark Twain might have given us.”—Henry Miller
 
“The very best novel ever about the American West.”—The New York Times Book Review
 
“Spellbinding . . . [Crabb] surely must be one of the most delightfully absurd fictional fossils ever unearthed.”—Time
 
“Superb . . . Berger’s success in capturing the points of view and emotional atmosphere of a vanished era is uncanny. His skill in characterization, his narrative power and his somewhat cynical humor are all outstanding.”—The New York Times 


From the Trade Paperback edition.
Thomas Berger
Thomas Berger
“The truth is always made up of little particulars which sound ridiculous when repeated.” So says Jack Crabb, the 111-year-old narrator of Thomas Berger’s 1964 masterpiece of American fiction, Little Big Man. Berger claimed the Western as serious literature with this savage and epic account of one man’s extraordinary double life.

After surviving the massacre of his pioneer family, ten-year-old Jack is adopted by an Indian chief who nicknames him Little Big Man. As a Cheyenne, he feasts on dog, loves four wives, and sees his people butchered by horse soldiers commanded by General George Armstrong Custer. Later, living as a white man once more, he hunts the buffalo to near-extinction, tangles with Wyatt Earp, cheats Wild Bill Hickok, and fights in the Battle of Little Bighorn alongside Custer himself—a man he’d sworn to kill. Hailed by The Nation as “a seminal event,” Little Big Man is a singular literary achievement that, like its hero, only gets better with age.

Praise for Little Big Man
 
“An epic such as Mark Twain might have given us.”—Henry Miller
 
“The very best novel ever about the American West.”—The New York Times Book Review
 
“Spellbinding . . . [Crabb] surely must be one of the most delightfully absurd fictional fossils ever unearthed.”—Time
 
“Superb . . . Berger’s success in capturing the points of view and emotional atmosphere of a vanished era is uncanny. His skill in characterization, his narrative power and his somewhat cynical humor are all outstanding.”—The New York Times 


From the Trade Paperback edition.
Thomas Berger
“The author creates a world in this book that is so corrupt, so consistently vicious, that innocence can glow visibly within his misunderstood protagonist. The plot gets nicely complicated...and the entire contraption claps together in a great, unpredictable, satisfying calamity.”—The New York Times Book Review

Thomas Berger, author of Pulitzer Prize-finalist The Feud, masterfully blurs the lines around reality in this breakneck thriller following one man's encounter with pure evil in high tops.

John Felton is a creature of habit. His job in real-estate comes with no surprises; it’s respectable work he can be proud of. Routine has been kind to him, but when a normal Monday of looking after the kids gets interrupted by a ringing of his doorbell, John may have to kiss his life of habit goodbye forever.

Richie is a man in need of some help. His car stalled just at the bottom of a hill near John’s home, he asks John for a push start. John, “conscious of a lifetime urge to do right,” has a hard time saying no. But a push start soon becomes a running start, and when John’s shirt gets snagged in the car door, Richie doesn’t offer an apology. He offers John a ride.

Not entirely sure himself why he agrees to join Richie, John steps into his car and is driven far away from the reality he once knew. From the thin thread of a shirt, John gets dragged into Richie’s frightening world, one event at a time.

To make matters worse, the longer he spends in Richie’s company the harder it is for the people around him to distinguish John from this curly-haired devil in a baseball cap. Can John put an end to Richie’s mad and murderous adventure before it reaches the most terrifying place of all—John’s very own home?

Additional praise for Meeting Evil:
“Spare, meticulous prose...sharply evocative of human weakness and rage.”—The Washington Post
Thomas Berger
“The characters in Best Friends...are...recognizably human in their weaknesses and their destinies. It is Berger's genius as an observer and storyteller that we never, for a moment, take our eyes off them.”—Jeffrey Frank, The Washington Post Book World

A moving story about childhood friendships falling under the strain of adulthood quickly becomes so much more in this tale that is as absurd as it is true to life from the author of Little Big Man.
Roy Courtright and Sam Grendy have been best friends for as long as either of them care to remember. As far as they’re concerned, they’re brothers, but sans the mess of a sibling rivalry. That they’re complete opposites has never mattered. Until now.

After Sam suffers a heart attack, Roy and Sam’s wife Kristen both find themselves wishing they had said more—to Sam, and to each other. Just as Roy begins to grapple with these new feelings for Kristen, things go from bad to worse. The woman Roy’s been meaning to break up with has been murdered.

What starts off as the charming tale of an oddball friendship quickly becomes a feast of shocking twists, heartbreak, and vengeance that only Thomas Berger could weave.

Additional Praise for Best Friends:

“Berger’s...style [is] at once elegant and casual, with his usual mix of sweetness and cynicism.”—Los Angeles Times

“[Berger’s] precise and exquisite dialogue [are] entertaining, even when the plot is ridiculous. And his deeply ironic view of the world we live in is refreshing, especially these days when irony is in short supply.”—Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

“Incorrigibly subversive.”—The Hollywood Reporter

“[Best Friends] is, in fact, a compact accomplished novel of ideas. That Berger’s take on adultery, loyalty, friendship and myriad other intangibles is both deeply satirical and deeply felt is perhaps the book’s real wonder.” —LA Weekly

“No other writer can build a symphony of seriocomic confusion with such a sure touch. Berger’s terrific plot takes several unforeseen and unsettling turns en route to its savage denouement. And it’s capped by an absolute killer of a final sentence. Nobody writes them like Thomas Berger. Not to be missed.”—Kirkus Reviews
Thomas Berger
From the author of Little Big Man comes a modern retelling of Robinson Crusoe that is an introspective look at the human condition only Thomas Berger could deliver.

“Both a survival tale and a story of the redemptive power of love and nature, the novel exudes an optimism rare in contemporary fiction.” —Library Journal

On a fishing expedition with one friend he can barely tolerate and two other men he barely knows, Robert Crews is content to spend the entirety of the flight in the alcoholic haze he’s all too familiar with. But when the turbulence becomes something more, it’s clear that something is wrong.

Crash landing in unfamiliar territory, Crews is the sole survivor to emerge from the wreckage. Alone, and without a drop of alcohol for the first time in his life, he must face the wild and, worse—himself.

Crews salvages what’s left of his companion’s survival gear from the plane, learns to build his first fire, and fashions a makeshift shelter from the elements. Alone with his memories, Crews begins to lament the years he spent wandering aimlessly through life, unable to attach himself to a single thing, or a single person.

His new lessons in self-care and human understanding pick up the pace when he suddenly encounters a woman on the run from her violent husband. Sparking new feelings of compassion, protectiveness, and genuine love in Crews, he allows Friday to join him on the search for civilization—all while avoiding the husband that seems bent on getting Friday back into his abusive grasp. Even in their return to civilization, Berger crafts a conclusion that sets this surprisingly tender retelling apart from every other tribute to Crusoe.
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