All shall be well; and all shall be well; and all manner of things shall be well

by Wodicka, Tod, 1976-

Format: Print Book 2007
Availability: Available at 2 Libraries 2 of 2 copies
Available (2)
Location Collection Call #
Community Library of Castle Shannon Fiction Fic Wodicka
Location  Community Library of Castle Shannon
Collection  Fiction
Call Number  Fic Wodicka
Mt. Lebanon Public Library Fiction WODICKA Tod
Location  Mt. Lebanon Public Library
Collection  Fiction
Call Number  WODICKA Tod
Meet Burt Hecker: a mead-drinking, tunic-wearing medieval re-enactor from upstate New York. He prefers oat gruel to French fries because potatoes were unavailable in Europe before 1200 AD; and, at war with the modern world, he enjoys hosting large-scale re-enactments at the Victorian bed and breakfast he calls home. But Burt has some serious problems. After an incident involving the New York State police and an illegally borrowed car, Burt is forced to join a local music therapy workshop to manage his anger. He gallantly accompanies the group to Germany for a festival celebrating the music of the visionary saint Hildegard von Bingen--but he has no plan to return home. His real destination is Prague: he must find his estranged son Tristan, who, he believes, has lost his way in the Bohemian city. As we move between past and present, the tragic details of Burt's life are gradually revealed: the recent death of his beloved wife; the circumstances that separate him from his children; his complicated relationship with his mother-in-law. And we begin to understand, with heart-wrenching clarity, Burt's eccentric and poignant devotion to a time other than one's own. Wildly inventive and mesmerizing, Tod Wodicka's debut is a modern-day Arthurian quest that introduces one of the most winning oddball characters to come along in years.
Published Reviews
Booklist Review: "All is well, indeed, in this assured debut novel, whose hapless protagonist recalls Alfred Lambert of Jonathan Franzen's Corrections (2001). Sixty-three-year-old Burt Hecker, a medieval reenactor whose most visible form of dedication is his reliance on mead, accompanies a female chant workshop to Germany in celebration of the nine-hundredth birthday of St. Hildegard von Bingen. But he soon makes his escape in a desperate bid to see his estranged son, Tristan, currently living in Prague. He is shocked to discover, however, that his gifted musician son has abandoned the handmade instruments and folk songs of his Lemko ancestors for the electronic guitars and discordant music of a progressive jazz band. In addition, his strident daughter is insisting that he return to the family-run bed-and-breakfast in Upstate New York. As the family converges in Prague for a long-overdue powwow, Burt reveals the horrific circumstances surrounding his late wife's protracted illness and his subsequent estrangement from his children. Like Franzen, Wodicka specializes in crafting a particularly devastating form of dark comedy in this tenderhearted story of a wounded family struggling to heal itself.--Wilkinson, Joanne Copyright 2007 Booklist"
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review: "A man displaced anchors Wodicka's funny, poignant and historically canny debut, previously published in Britain. With the death of his beloved wife, Kitty, 63-year-old Burt Hecker sells the Queens Falls, N.Y., B&B he and his wife ran and heads to Germany to reinvent himself as a medieval re-enactor with a troupe of chanters for the 900th anniversary of the birthday of Hildegard von Bingen. Burt, a dedicated member of the Confraternity of Times Lost Regained, never strays "Out of Period" (OOP), wearing a tunic and drinking homemade mead; derailed emotionally, he is estranged from his two grown children-June, who is on the verge of single motherhood and wants to return home but doesn't know her father has sold the inn, and Tristan, a brilliant Juilliard dropout who moved to Poland to reattach himself to the Lemko roots of his emigrant grandmother and now headlines at a Prague jazz club with a group of folk musicians. With the help of family lawyer Lonna Katsav, Burt attempts a detente with his resentful children. Burt's cutting wit and intelligence comprise the novel's intellectual center, while his unfettered love for Kitty gives it its massive heart. (Jan.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved"
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Additional Information
Subjects Older men -- Germany -- Fiction.
Self-realization -- Fiction.
Germany -- Fiction.
Fantasy fiction.
Publisher New York :Pantheon Books,2007
Edition 1st U.S. ed.
Language English
Description 266 pages ; 23 cm
ISBN 9780375424731
Other Classic View