SYNOPSIS: Charming, manic Wally Tiparoy has done something awful to his wife, Elizabeth, and he’s determined to prevent it from happening again. Knowing that his problem is too big for medication, and complex enough to baffle an entire team of psychoanalysts, Wally takes Elizabeth’s Honda and puts all his faith in a therapeutic road trip from Cincinnati to Inuvik, the northernmost town on the continent. Heâ€™s got a score to settle with Santa Claus, a lifetime of traumas to amend, and a marriage in need of repair. Told in letters to his wife, Wally retraces where his marriage went wrong, and recounts his encounters with diner patrons, a prayer hotline counselor, and the inventor of Memory Foam. But Wally has no more control over the momentum of his letters than he does his highway encounters, and ends up unearthing memories of his abusive grandfather, Marvin. What begins as a trip about reflection and redemption, quickly becomes a narrative of rationalization and evasion, as Wally’s mental state deteriorates. It could be that he’s off his meds, or it could be that he’s been hiding something else from Elizabeth, something far worse than his original transgression, something that only the loathsome Marvin would understand, and if Wally doesn’t tell her, he’s wasted a lot of gas.
INTERVIEW:Â Don talks with John King about Wally, Playboy, and a bunch of other stuff on The Drunken Odyssey podcast.
FULL BOOK COVER: