Sunday, June 12, 2011

"Wire to Wire"

Scott Sparling grew up near railroad tracks in Michigan. He now lives outside Portland, Oregon, with his wife and son.

He applied the Page 69 Test to Wire to Wire, his first novel, and reported the following:
One of my favorite pages in the book – seriously – and one I almost always include in readings. Okay, it doesn’t have any of Charlie’s vulgar humor (Charlie is a Northern Michigan drug-dealer who talks constantly about sex, but never has any). And Lane’s sensuality is only there indirectly. But what it has got is Slater in his beat-up Ford Ranchero and Harp in a boxcar – both on the road to Michigan.

Here’s Slater, driving all night to the beat of a conga tape and heading, unknowingly, into a tangle of love, murder, and drugs:
“Along the roadside, another billboard rose up for The Thing. The Inevitable is Coming, this one said. 300 Miles.”
And here’s Harp with an interior monologue prose-poem that captures his love for the road – and why he’s riding trains while his lover waits alone:
“Ride: past scrap heaps and factories and beaten bums waving, past the ends of towns, through empty fields and junkyards, past everything man has made and the things man can never make, eventually past light. At night Harp stood in the boxcar and a halo rode the train, low above the engine, while landscapes turned amber, half-finished, pristine, and never glimpsed again.”
That’s pure Harp. And pure Wire to Wire.
Learn more about the book and author at Scott Sparling's website and blog.

Visit the complete list of books in the Page 69 Test Series.

--Marshal Zeringue