Bicycle Days: A Novel by John Burnham Schwartz

By John Burnham Schwartz

While Alec Stern arrives in Japan, he discovers a land of chance. for under in Tokyo may well an impressionable younger guy clean out of school locate, in a single stroke, a brand new activity, a brand new relations, and a society that lavishes cognizance on Japanese-speaking gaijin. but, while Alec claims a spot during this new international, he's haunted through stories of the only he left behind—a international as soon as infinitely safe yet which disintegrated with the breakup of his mom and dad' marriage.

In this incandescently saw novel, John Burnham Schwartz introduces readers to at least one of the main beautiful protagonists in modern fiction whereas captivating them with the fervour of his eye and the aptness of his voice. via its exquisitely rendered scenes—a fishing journey of Zen-like serenity; an evening at a intercourse membership the place guffawing businessmen dive into the action—and vividly imagined characters—the guffawing mom who taught Alec to trip a bicycle; the gorgeous unhappy eastern girl who teaches him tips on how to love—Bicycle Days surprises, strikes, and enlightens us as only a few books do.

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Extra info for Bicycle Days: A Novel

Example text

He felt himself being lifted up onto the man’s shoulders and knew that he was connected to the world again. There was too much happening at once, and he could only point when he saw his mother at the edge of the sidewalk, his mitten held tightly in one hand. She stood in front of a Salvation Army sign, beside a skinny man dressed as Santa Claus. Again and again, she called out his name, while Santa Clause rang a bell and sang Christmas carols. It seemed to Alec that it took a long time to finally reach her.

Mr. Hasegawa’s speech was unintelligible. Short and slim with a crewcut, he made constant grunting noises that seemed to come from somewhere deep inside him. This was at first confusing, but Alec soon realized that each grunt was a sign of assent. Again and again, he would stop in the middle of a sentence to search for a word, only to see Mr. Hasegawa leaning forward, his hands resting on his thighs. Like a seismologist reading the tremors before a major earthquake, Alec knew then that a grunt was coming, and this knowledge gave him enough confidence to struggle through the sentence.

Terrified, he looked around him. It was the same bus he had been on before he had fallen asleep, filled with the same people, the driver wearing the exact same pale blue hat. The bus looked like every other bus Alec had ever been on. The red vinyl seats reminded him of the Greyhound he used to ride to his aunt’s house in Vermont. He took a deep breath and rubbed his head where it had been knocking against the window. A young woman sitting across the aisle looked away when he noticed her; he was sure she had been staring at him while he slept.

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