Perhaps your darkest moment, Kurt. You leave it to the reader to cut through the gloom.

This first-person narrative slips away from the zany and free-ranging explorations of life common to your work. Kurt, you had to know the narrator—Rudy Waltz—was inadequate because the ending of the story—"We are still in the Dark Ages"—did not come from him.

Your theme—"Watch out for life"—deserved a better look. As for your own life, Kurt, your dedication of the book to Jill [wife Jill Krementz] was an ill omen.

Chapter 26: The opening three pages on "We all see our lives as stories" are a gem.

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