by Don Peteroy
“Wally is terrible company as a husband,
but the best kind of company as a narrator.”
–Brock Clarke, author of The Happiest People in the World
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. He’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.
“Unique in form, Don Peteroy’s epistolary confessional road novella is compellingly poised between future and past, acceleration and reflection. Only through departure can Wally (and readers) begin to arrive at the complexities of desire, volition, and responsibility. Wally’s cognitive detours through history, physics, psychology, and religion make his journey all the more rich and engaging.”
~Chris Bachelder, author of Bear vs. Shark, U.S.!, and Abbott Awaits
“Early in Don Peteroy’s Wally, the eponymous hero tells his poor wife, by letter, on the occasion of his fleeing to the Yukon, again, “don’t try to get in touch with me.” Unlucky for her, but lucky for the reader, Wally is himself an expert getting-in-touch-er, a grouchy, funny, anguished, eloquent observer of and reporter on everything that matters in the world, including himself. He’s terrible company as a husband, but the best kind of company as a narrator.”
~Brock Clarke, author of The Happiest People in the World
“An epic emotional journey, Wally is more than a slew of diary entries and letters home. This novel uncovers a man’s psychological transformation as his medications leach from his system, and he travels the distance of nearly two countries. Wally exposes how his dysfunctional and abusive upbringing has left him a shattered man who passes his childhood horrors onto the only person who has ever truly loved and trusted him. A hard-hitting and beautifully written book, Don Peteroy takes readers on a gravely emotional and thought-provoking journey, one that resonates long after Wally reaches his destination.”
~Lavinia Ludlow, for Small Press Reviews
Don Peteroy lives with his wife in Cincinnati, Ohio. His short story, “The Circuit Builders,” was awarded first place in Playboy’s 2012 College Fiction Contest, and appears in the October 2012 issue. Other stories of Don’s have appeared, or are forthcoming, in Cream City Review, Permafrost, Eleven Eleven, Chattahoochee Review, Santa Clara Review, Yemassee, and elsewhere. He is a PhD candidate at the University of Cincinnati. Wally is his first book.