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The Rough English Equivalent
by Stanley J Hayes
Release Date: 07/01/02
Genre: Sagas
Pages: 624
Publisher: iUniverse Inc.
Format ISBN Price
Print 978-0595245796 30.95
Author Page: Stanley J Hayes
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Summary Excerpt Comments
What we have here is a bordering-on-black comedy set in post-World War II Bisque, Georgia, hard by the Savannah River Project plutonium plant. The Rough English Equivalent spans a decade in the lives of Serena, the striking, sensual, estranged wife of Manhattan Project scientist and a Bisque bigwig's daughter, who's itching to trade motherhood and the live-in management of her father's hotel for a sculptor's loft in New York. Jack, her ferociously apt son, puberty just around the corner, is shadowed by a Goshawk that only he can see. Having only sporadic contact with his father, he grows up in Hotel Bisque under the iconoclastic tutelage of burly Jewish entrepreneur Moses, who's actually Peter, a onetime Luftwaffe pilot, late of German intelligence, who sat out the war in Baltimore after walking away with three million bucks earmarked for Roosevelt's and Churchill's 1941 IRA assassination aboard USS Augusta. Stranded en route to Cuba by a ruptured radiator, he gets a load of Serena and drops anchor.

As they craft a modus viviendi, these characters smite Bisque's small-town sensibilities hip and thigh, careening down a collision course with destiny. Probing their psyches and the circumstances that shaped them, Hayes cracks the citadel of Bisque's bigoted bourgeoisie, delivering episodes that include Moses adjourning a Klan cross-burning with bazooka fire, Serena swapping his 1950 Buick's hood ornament for a replica sporting a slickly-chromed penis modeled by the sculptor from life, Jack seduced at 16 by Moses' old lover's daughter aboard a sailboat in New York Harbor and, last but not least, the Bishop sisters, psychic twins possessed by Tourette Syndrome and nymphomania, using Moses' old white limousine to stalk him, driving him nuts with implications that they know who he really is.

Increasingly restless in his Bisque sojourn, Moses fakes his death in a plane crash off the Georgia coast, goes to Havana, and all too soon joins his old Mafia cronies in flight from the Castro revolution. Jack and Moses reunite in Miami's Coconut Grove, awash in CIA types and Cuban exiles, notably Howard Hunt and Bernard Barker, gearing up for the Bay of Pigs.

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