Douglas Woolf





Douglas Woolf

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Average rating: 4.30 · 27 ratings · 4 reviews · 8 distinct works · Similar authors
Ya! & John-Juan
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4.4 of 5 stars 4.40 avg rating — 5 ratings — published 1971
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Fade Out
3.67 of 5 stars 3.67 avg rating — 6 ratings — published 1971 — 4 editions
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Wall to Wall
3.6 of 5 stars 3.60 avg rating — 5 ratings — published 1984 — 2 editions
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On Us
5.0 of 5 stars 5.00 avg rating — 3 ratings — published 1976
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Hypocritic Days & Other Tales
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5.0 of 5 stars 5.00 avg rating — 3 ratings — published 1993 — 3 editions
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Future Preconditional: A Co...
5.0 of 5 stars 5.00 avg rating — 2 ratings
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The Timing Chain
4.5 of 5 stars 4.50 avg rating — 2 ratings — published 1985
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Signs of a Migrant Worrier
5.0 of 5 stars 5.00 avg rating — 1 rating — published 1965
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More books by Douglas Woolf…

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“They looked so familiar that for a moment Claude feared he had doubled back to Mrs. Merritt's city, until a sudden wave of water blinded his wipers and drove him along with everyone else to the curb, where the crackling radio reported an old man had just now been swept from his backyard by a cloudburst, the latest in a series deluging Tulsa. Clinging there to the side of the hill, no hand brake, Claude rode out the storm, stuffing blankets into the cracks under the doors, watching overhead drips as best he could with the babyseat. When the car next in front crept away from the curb, Claude followed as far as a gas station. There he wondered aloud what lay ahead, but the attendant couldn't say, having swum to work just five minutes ago. Now as Claude pulled away the rain suddenly ceased, it seemed from exhaustion, and for the next hundred miles he spun his dial to catch the latest reports: that old man was still missing, he had last been seen floating downhill toward the river, he had been found, he was dead, he was dying, he was still missing... Claude turned off the radio, for he was beyond range of Tulsa, and Joplin had not heard the news yet. He raced in silence toward the night which he knew already had begun not far ahead.”
Douglas Woolf, Wall to Wall

“Lured by smooth roads onto a new turnpike, he read with surprise the rules he was handed, don't stop, don't turn around, pay when you get there; he made his escape at the first exit he saw, for fiftyfive cents, and now he was on the old road buzzing the staid turnpike by turns over and under, teasing it crazy.”
Douglas Woolf, Wall to Wall

“Beside him Mr. Harris folded his morning newspaper and held it out to Claude.

"Seen this yet?"

"No."

"Don't read it," Mr. Harris said, folding the paper once more and sliding it under his rear. "It will only upset you, son."

"It's a wicked paper... " Claude agreed, but Mr. Harris was overspeaking him.

"It's the big black words that do it. The little grey ones don't matter very much, they're just fill-ins they take everyday from the wires. They concentrate their poison in the big black words, where it will radiate.

Of course if you read the little stories too you've got sure proof that every word they wrote above, themselves, was a fat black lie, but by then you've absorbed a thousand greyer ones, and where and how to check on those? This way the mind deteriorates. The best way you can save yourself is not to read it, son."

"No, I... "

"That's right, if you're not careful," Mr. Harris went on, blue-eyed, red-faced, "you find yourself pretty soon hating everyone but God, the Babe, and a few dead senators. That's no fun. Men aren't so bad as that."

"No."

"That's right, you begin to worry about anyone who opens his mouth except to say ho it looks like rain, let's bowl. Otherwise you wonder what the hell he's trying to prove, or undermine. If he asks what time it is, you wonder what terrible thing is scheduled to happen, where it will happen, when. You can't even stand to be asked how you feel today - he's probably looking at the bumps on you, they may have grown more noticeable overnight. Soon you feel you should apologize for standing there where he can watch you dying in front of him, he'd rather for you to carry your head around in a little plaid bag, like your bowling ball. There's no joy in that. Men aren't so very bad."

Mr. Harris paused to remove his Panama hat. Water seeped from his knobby forehead, which he mopped with a damp handkerchief. "I've offended you, son," he said.

"Not at all, I entirely agree with you."

Mr. Harris replaced his hat, folded his handkerchief.

"I shouldn't shoot off this way," he said. "I read too much."

"No, no. You're right... ”
Douglas Woolf, Wall to Wall

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