Howard Studt is a beefy, awkward kid: not handsome, not brilliant, not popular, but a good-natured boy. He believes that there is a benevolent Almighty watching over him who will guarantee his happiness. Unfortunately, his path to manhood is strewn with one calamity after another. His father deserts the family, his best friend dies, and Howard is diagnosed with a rare genetic disease. As he reaches manhood, he realizes that the God he is seeking resides within himself, just before the next disaster engulfs him.
5 Stars from an Amazon Reviewer
“Greatest Missouri-based novel since Huckelberry Finn. Margolis strikes again with a gripping tale that represents our times. The 20th century may have skipped great Missourian fiction authors, but the bridge from Twain to Margolis is fait accompli after this fabulous novel.”
Rachel Pitch Amazon Review
“Very much enjoyed. Infused with a wry sense of humor and characters that ring true. Engaging and satisfying.”
Excerpt from The Plumber’s Wrench
When Howard reached fourteen, puberty arrived and he grew rapidly. By the time he was a high school sophomore, he stood almost six feet two inches tall and weighed in the neighborhood of two hundred pounds. His cheeks filled out, but they retained that apple-red color which flared to scarlet when he got embarrassed or upset. He had a close-cropped crew cut which accentuated his formless nose, as if a piece of putty had been stuck in the center of his face.
His ears, although not large, protruded from his close shaven skull at a rather sharp angle which made them more prominent than was necessary for a pair of ears. Only his eyes revealed any character. They would twinkle when he joked, which was a signal for his acquaintances to laugh even if the witticism wasn’t particularly witty.
His oversized gut was complemented by a correspondingly large pair of buttocks.
Some of the kids called him Porky, a nickname that he didn’t particularly relish, but preferred over the hated Big Butt. Howard was strong for his age, and a portion of the fat turned to muscle, so that this uncoordinated athlete suddenly attained the size and shape that was perfect for a high school football lineman. Yet he was surprised, when Coach Sorenson approached him one day in gym class and suggested that he try out for football, just as Howard was diligently practicing the tuba hoping to make the band.