Herself a comic performer, Landvik taps her own adventurous past and Minnesota roots to conjure Candy's life in this strange new Technicolor home. Her fellow tenants at Peyton Hall include a female bodybuilder, a ruined nightclub impresario, and a well-connected old Romanian fortune-teller. There are game show appearances and temp jobs at a record company and an establishment suspiciously like the Playboy Mansion, and of course the alluring but not always welcoming stage of stand-up comedy. As she hones her act, Candy is tested by humiliation, hecklers, and the inherent sexism that insists "chicks aren't funny."
Written with the light touch and quiet wisdom that have made her works so popular, this is classic Lorna Landvik--sometimes so funny, you'll cry; sometimes so sad, you might as well laugh; and always impossible to put down. Mayor of the Universe A mild-mannered actuary, Fletcher Weschel lives at the crossroads of Bland and Humdrum--or so he thinks until a cosmic contest catapults him into the fantasy world he made up as a boy. Suddenly his childhood bedroom is aswarm with aliens, all bent on discovering the human who best personifies their mission--in this case, the deeply serious pursuit of fun.
Ejected from the boring comfort of his office chair, Fletcher finds himself astride the bare back of a horse, in front of a safe (that he happens to be cracking), and then . . . in the cabin of a weight-loss camp for kids? Apparently adventures come in all shapes and sizes, and it's up to Fletcher to make the most of these, conducted by his alien guide, Tandala, who takes on the corporeal form of a big-boned Jamaican and tends to get distracted by Earth's many surprising pleasures (garlic! libraries! love!).
But even fantasies can have consequences, and as Fletcher struggles through them, he is cheered and assisted by Wanda Plum, a plucky second-grade teacher who helps him realize what his ultimate role really is on this highly mysterious, infinitely marvelous pale-blue dot in a vast universe. Though its cast includes aliens, this charmed and charming book is quintessential Lorna Landvik--less about outer space than about the crowded, complex inner space of the human heart.
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