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Reading Old Books, by Tom Tolnay

While farce is essentially a theatrical mechanism, in this book far-fetched measures are rendered in fictional prose through the idiosyncratic perspectives of a life-long librarian, Eric Binde, in Bradstreet, Massachusetts, and a part-time high school English teacher, Jasper Keats, in Long Island, New York. Each is devoted to reading dog-eared books while attempting to pursue personal views of living in conflict with less-than-obliging antagonists.

In these two novellas, author Tom Tolnay uses farcical premises carried out by whimsical characters for comic effect in order to consider two intriguing notions related to the old books they like to read: (1) How literature can impact everyday lives in meaningful ways, (2) How poetry shared by couples in love may lead to a deeper intimacy in their relationship.

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