About The Book
Paul Emmons has his faults; envy, lust, naïveté, money laundering, and art forgery, to name but a few. A fallen accountant, Emmons and wife Mary are exiled abroad, though they enjoy frequent and inadvisable returns to New England, the region of his crimes, to check in on the property they own but cannot claim. Soon, Paul is tailed by his former business associate Carlo Record, the one-armed president of the fraudulent company New England Amusements. Carlo’s cronies—Ashtray Bob, Line-Item Vito, and Hatpin Henry—try to coerce Paul into stealing the infamous John Singer Sargent painting The Black Brook from the Tate Gallery in London. Instead, Paul begs Mary, a painter, to reproduce the artwork in an attempt to outwit Carlo and his henchmen, a plot which produces comic consequences. Utterly original and compelling, The Black Brook is a darkly droll novel of love, death, guilt, and redemption from “one of our living masters” (McSweeney’s).
“I’d say Drury was good and now he’s great, even revolutionary. The genius of The Black Brook is that in the current of banalities that engage us all, he finds compelling mystery. My hat is off to this superb writer.” —Barry Hannah
“A trip and a treat.” —Kirkus Reviews
“Tom Drury ranks right up there with fellow Connecticut writer Robert Stone when it comes to depicting the futility of American wanderlust.” —Boston Herald
“Every page yields wonderful surprises—of invention, of insight, of language.” —Richard Russo