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The Resource Fool : a novel, Frederick G. Dillen

Fool : a novel, Frederick G. Dillen

Label
Fool : a novel
Title
Fool
Title remainder
a novel
Statement of responsibility
Frederick G. Dillen
Creator
Subject
Genre
Language
eng
Review
  • Barnaby Griswold is a fool. He knows it, and so do we, as Dillen takes us deep inside his troubled head. Barnaby "loafed and drank his way through good schools" and, lately, hangs out at a very special French restaurant in New York with lots of very special people having lunch. He makes his way in the world by magically predicting the market--until he loses everything. Dillen intercuts the story of how it all went bad for Barnaby--divorced, disgraced, broke--with descriptions of the 46-year-old, uncoordinated "fluffmesiter" sweating his way through an endless tennis match, fighting for his life, or at least his lifestyle. Because he has nowhere to go, Barnaby ends up in Oklahoma City, caring for his ailing ex-mother-in-law and searching for answers. Does he win the tennis match? Does he turn his life around? Dillen's writing is strong and intricate, and his character development is dandy. We may not exactly like the tragicomic Barnaby, but we can't ignore him. As compelling as a romping game of tennis. ((Reviewed July 1999)) -- Peggy Barber
  • Barnaby Griswold, the protagonist of this assured and sophisticated novel, is a fulfillment of his father's worst fear: a fool, an indulgent "fluffmeister." After his devious, get-rich-quick investment scheme is exposed, he loses everything: his home, his wife and children and, above all, the spoils of a New York lifestyle he once, albeit briefly, enjoyed. Barnaby's story begins at his rock bottom: a Labor Day weekend he spends relinquishing the last of his equity and beginning his suspension from the securities business. His divorce is final and his wife and daughters await his exit. Sitting alone in what was once his summer home, he gets a providential phone call from his ex-mother-in-law, Ada Briley, who beckons him back to Oklahoma City, the very place where he pulled off his ill-fated swindle. His enemies there are plentiful, and one in particular, a duped client named Peterpotter, stalks and torments him. But Barnaby is resilient, suffering Peterpotter's abuses while nurturing Ada, to whom he's become attached. As Ada's health deteriorates, she becomes intensely dependent on him, and their friendship suffers with his interest in a local waitress, Marian Winott, who hails from the same East Coast circle that now ostracizes Barnaby. His perception of himself as a fool crystallizes, and he must decide which path to choose--Ada's love, Marian's potential or a chance to salvage his woebegone lifestyle, a surprising development that occurs when, in a brief visit to New York, his intuition predicts a "Christmas Crash." He warns his old coterie, saves them from financial ruin and earns back their respect, enough that they beg his return to Manhattan. The epiphany Barnaby experiences is somewhat suspicious, slipped between confusion and a sudden closure, casting his transformation in doubt. Dillen recounts his second novel (after the praised Hero) in a dense and darkly comic voice, offering flourishing passages, clever turns and tense, delightful confrontations between characters. But while Barnaby is an engaging antihero, readers may find Dillen's tone a bit cold, almost refusing Barnaby sympathy when he needs it most, in his last-minute moment of truth. First serial rights to Harper's. (Sept.) Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
  • Barnaby Griswold, the eponymous hero of Dillen's second novel (after Hero) is not just a fool but a jerk and a loser as well. His loss-to-win record is appalling--the first column includes his wife, daughters, fortune, homes, well-placed friends, lunches at La C te, and reputation, while the second includes only a tennis championship at a shabby beach club, his ex-wife's dying mother, and early-bird suppers at the Dinner Box. A securities trader, Barnaby guessed wrong. Hearing of ex-mother-in-law Ada's stroke, he flies to Oklahoma City to help care for her. Bumbling, solipsistic, and sponging off Ada, Barnaby is excruciatingly annoying. Yet halfway into the book, a strange fondness stirs. By the end, the reader is cheering him on as he achieves self-knowledge and a chance at love. Dillen's prose is astonishing, manic, and repetitive, and much of it is stream-of-consciousness--always Barnaby's. For most fiction collections where readers appreciate the unconventional.--Judith Kicinski, Sarah Lawrence Coll. Lib., Bronxville, NY Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
  • Dillen's second novel (Hero, 1994) is an eccentrically narrated, riches-to-rags story of the spiritual redemption of a fast-talker, wheeler-dealer, and, yes, fool. Fools are losers when they don't know they're fools, and Barnaby Griswold is no loser. Griswold is actually proud of his cowardly, rash, idiotic behavior through his nearly 50 years of life: he's made money in the securities trade, stayed out of jail, and held together a shabby respectability at his New England athletic club. But he's also separated from his wife and children, and runs his heart on the fumes of this or that deal. After becoming involved in the Oklahoma oil boom, Griswold accurately predicts its crash and sells before losing everything. His co-investors are none too pleased with Griswold's new-found fortune, and they connive to strip him of his assets to kick him out of the trade, as well as force him to issue an open apology to all damaged parties. Humbled, Griswold takes up the care of Ada, his wife's ailing mother, with whom he is at last able to forge meaningful intimacy. One of the few women who knows him for the fool that he is, Ada also genuinely—indeed, sexually—loves Griswold. He meets Marie in a diner, and finds contentment in dating her. When he's called back to the country club to preserve his family claim to their sacred membership, Griswold guesses the stock market will crash overnight, calls a few select friends, and finds Marie again, the daughter of a club elder. The market crashes, Griswold is restored to social health, and ready to court Marie. His commitment to Ada, however, compels, his return to Oklahoma—just the foolish sort of thing he likes to do. A well-written tale of comic sensibility, sturdily but plainly plotted, with enough skew in it to make things unpredictable, if not quite compelling, for the reader. (First serial to Harper's) (Kirkus Reviews, August 1, 1999)
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/bookUI
024332
Cataloging source
DLC
http://library.link/vocab/creatorDate
1946-
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
Dillen, Frederick G.
Index
no index present
Literary form
fiction
http://library.link/vocab/resourcePreferred
True
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
  • Investment advisors
  • Divorced men
  • Swindlers and swindling
  • Securities
  • Investors
  • Mothers-in-law
  • Life change events
  • Oklahoma City (Okla.)
Label
Fool : a novel, Frederick G. Dillen
Instantiates
Publication
Copyright
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Control code
354911
Dimensions
23 cm
Edition
First edition.
Extent
302 pages
Isbn
9781565122345
Lccn
99023456
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
System control number
  • (Sirsi) i9781565122345
  • (Sirsi) ABU-5957
Label
Fool : a novel, Frederick G. Dillen
Publication
Copyright
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Control code
354911
Dimensions
23 cm
Edition
First edition.
Extent
302 pages
Isbn
9781565122345
Lccn
99023456
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
System control number
  • (Sirsi) i9781565122345
  • (Sirsi) ABU-5957

Library Locations

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      30.3116523 -97.6902298
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