Just a Couple of Days

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Blip Korterly kicks off a game of graffiti tag on a local overpass by painting a simple phrase: "Uh-oh." An anonymous interlocutor writes back: "When?" Blip slyly answers: "Just a couple of days." But what happens in just a couple of days? Blip is arrested; his friend, Dr. Flake Fountain—a molecular biologist—is drafted into a shadow-government research project conducting experiments on humans. The virus being tested—cleverly called "the Pied Piper"—renders its victims incapable of symbolic capacity; that is, incapable of communication. Is this biological weaponry? What would happen if it were let loose on the world? Does a babbling populace pose a threat or provide an opportunity for social evolution?

This novel’s absurd, larger-than-life characters speak in exuberant prose that is as satirical as it is playful, as full of implications as it is full of mirth. It’s no wonder Just a Couple of Days has become an underground cult classic. This grassroots phenomenon will reach even more soon-to-be fans in its newly updated Harvest edition-- complete with an excerpt from the author's next book!
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About the author

TONY VIGORITO’s first novel, Just a Couple of Days, is a cult classic that was republished by Harcourt in 2007. His following novels helped earn him acclaim for his satirical style. A former professor who earned a Ph.D. at Ohio State University and taught social theory at Ohio University and Antioch College, he now lives in Austin, Texas. Visit www.TonyVigorito.com.

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Additional Information

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
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Published on
Mar 17, 2015
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Fiction / General
Fiction / Visionary & Metaphysical
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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William Tobias Merrick, an energetic young man from the provinces, travels to the big city in a time of great optimism and ferment, hoping to make his mark on a frenzied, money-crazed society obsessed with the promise of new technologies.

The city in question is London in the 1690s; but it is also New York in the 1990s. The new technologies are diving bells, pneumatic winches, and "sucking-worm" drainage engines; but they are also wireless telecommunication devices, patented biotechnology processes, and revolutionary electronic Internet routers. Only the sense of unlimited possibility remains the same throughout.

Unfolding simultaneously in two distant--but remarkably similar--periods of history, Extravagance is a comic, pictaresque novel of financial mania, the story of a world gripped by a terminal case of irrational exuberance. Navigating the perils of both eras is a single cast of characters: Will himself, a young man on the make, eager to do whatever it takes to make his fortune; Will's uncle (and sponsor) Gilbert Hawking, a shrewd businessman with one foot in the Old Economy and one in the New; Benjamin Fletcher, the developer of a pioneering new technology destined to set the world on fire; and Theodore Witherspoon, the cheerfully unscrupulous wizard of the financial markets who promises to make them all wealthy beyond their dreams.

Meanwhile, Will's aspirations are complicated by his pursuit of Ben Fletcher's sister, Eliza, the gorgeous and disconcertingly aggressive woman who is as desirable as she is elusive. Can Will succeed in his efforts to win both Eliza and the fortune that her brother's new technology seems likely to bring him? And can he make it all happen before the general euphoria of the age reaches its inevitable climax?

Extravagance is a uniquely conceived work of high comic entertainment -- an ultra-smart time machine of a novel that proves that both love and greed are timeless.

From the Hardcover edition.
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