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Pluto's Garden [Paperback]

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Item description for Pluto's Garden by Rick Zabel...

Guthrie LaRue, a so-called renowned terrorist from the 1960s, is mired in the past and can't find her way into the twenty-first century. Now a local laughingstock, she is certain that the only way for her to relive her days of infamy is to blow up a huge shopping mall that she believes is threatening to destroy the small rural community of Shakespeare, Indiana.

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Item Specifications...

Pages   220
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9" Width: 6" Height: 0.46"
Weight:   0.72 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Jul 8, 2008
Publisher   Egress Books
ISBN  1933435070  
ISBN13  9781933435077  

Availability  0 units.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > General > Contemporary
2Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > General

Reviews - What do customers think about Pluto's Garden?

Disappointing read  Jul 16, 2008
Rick Zabel's protagonist in his debut novel, Pluto's Garden, is one of those people who peaked early. In fact, the high point in Guthrie La Rue's life was in 1968. She was a member of the Young Rebels, a group who threw excrement at the police at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago. Oh yes, Guthrie was a terrorist through and through.

Flash forward to the post-9/11 United States. Guthrie is planning to bomb the shopping mall in Shakespeare, Indiana. She wears a rusting electronic monitoring device that she clamped on her ankle many years before. Her life centers around writing haikus, which are apparently awful; self-publishing book after book of poetry; recruiting members of her writing group to aid her in her illicit activities; and waiting to hear from a "real" publisher that she has finally moved into the big time.

Pluto's Garden opens with Guthrie getting a back-alley abortion. It's unclear in the beginning how old Guthrie is, and although her age is never divulged, the reader must assume she is approaching sixty, which makes the whole abortion seem off track. She's so matter of fact about it that readers are left to wonder if this is her first abortion or the latest one in a long line of abortions. With the opening time frame feeling somewhat off, the rest of Pluto's Garden never really quite gelled for me, and I was thrown off course several times. I also felt that the narrator was almost as unreliable as The Great Gatsby's Nick.

Still, Rick Zabel's Pluto's Garden is a linear tale of middle-age pathos when Guthrie and her husband Myron, realize that their lives are a joke and that they never succeed in making any of their dreams come anywhere near true. Guthrie's desire to feel the same adrenaline rush that she experienced in 1968, and the pain of a not-so-clean abortion, holds the story together.

I didn't get the title, as Pluto's Garden is poor trailer park, so much unlike the higher-class trailer park Guthrie and Myron inhabit called Abraham's Bosom.

Armchair Interviews says: Heed this reviewer's comments.
Very enjoyable!  Apr 26, 2008
This has a wacky bunch of characters who are not technically the most lovable bunch. I thoroughly enjoyed it - devoured it this morning. It is a quick read, partially because I was eager to see how all was resolved. I was on the periphery of the late 60s (I was in 5th grade in 1968), so it was fun to get into the head (even fictionally, and crazy) of a committed-to-a-cause activist. Thanks Rick, looking forward to more of your books!

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