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Novel by George Singleton

The character at the center of Novel is Novel Akers (with a brother names James and a sister named Joyce) in Gruel, South Carolina. Novel has retreated to a motel to write his memoirs, telling of his days as a snake handler, political speechwriter, weight-loss spa proprietor which he soon turned into a writers' retreat. None of this worked out well for him, and neither is his autobiography. He hangs out at a pool hall where they're constantly trying to invent trick shots. He has a brother-in-law who had a tragic cigarette smoking accident and an ex-client from his spa who runs a bakery specializing in religious pastries. Novel decides to become town historian, and uncovers the secret that explains Gruel's very existence. George Singleton, master of comic short stories, delivers a comic novel in an eccentric Southern town, and Novel has received mostly positive reviews. The Portland Oregonian says, "Still, Singleton's sharp style consistently bubbles over and keeps readers on their toes, making Novel a winning reward."
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Seattle Times review by Ginny Merdes
George Singleton
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