9781565122321

The Unexpected Salami

by
  • ISBN13:

    9781565122321

  • ISBN10:

    1565122321

  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 1999-04-01
  • Publisher: Algonquin Books

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Summary

It's your basic video shoot. The lead singer of the Tall Poppies, lime green makeup in place, wails into the camera, "I'm bent and distorted, like a gnome I'm contorted." The Tall Poppies are still looking for their big break in the crapshoot known as the music business. So when their drummer is gunned down right in the middle of the video - and the murder is caught on camera - they finally make it onto TV screens around the world. Their biggest fan, Rachel Ganelli, had escaped to Australia as a way out of a pending marriage and a mundane job, and away from her endlessly meddling parents. But when she finds herself witness to the murder, she hastens back to New York, where life is more predictable. Or so she thinks. Before she's had a chance to take a deep breath of city air, Rachel's sense of what happened back in Australia is turned on its head. Part black comedy, part love story, The Unexpected Salami introduces Lauri Gwen Shapiro as a fresh, new master of what The New York Times called "screwball comedy."

Excerpts

Rachel: The Unexpected Salami An excerpt from Chapter 3 of The Unexpected Salami by Laurie Gwen Shapiro [The] Coffee Bar [was] my new center of gravity. The man across from me at my long "antichic" linoleum table looked interesting, though a bit seedy, grinding numerous cigarettes into the ashtray as he sipped from his herbal tea. He had a zigzagging scar over his eyebrow; gray sideburns. I caught him ogling the two seventeen-ish girls in baby-doll dresses, braided pigtails, and patent leather shoes, particularly the girl with the D-cup chest. He saw me staring and probably thought I was coming on to him. He flashed his rotting teeth. I'd learned about rotting teeth from Stuart. I'd had it to here with him and had wanted the guys to show him the door. But they said that it wasn't fair, he was paying his share: mateship bullshit going strong. I'm not saying all Aussie men wear slouched hats and burp their days away, but even the most sensitive Melbourne University philosophy major partakes in testosterone bonding; for a white male Australian to go against the two hundred-year strong societal grain is as inconceivable as a Savannah gent not opening a car door for a woman. My silver drop earrings went missing. Then my zoom-lens camera, my biggest purchase of the previous five years. I'd wanted the fucker out, but Colin and Phillip had tried to calm me down, suggesting that we try locking our individual doors. Then Stuart couldn't steal money or sell our valuables. *** Ironically, I had to ask Stuart to pick my lock two weeks later when I dropped my keys on the St. Kilda pier, right into Port Phillip Bay. I couldn't afford a locksmith and Stuart was most obliging, completing the job in ten seconds. I offered him a chunk of the Katz's salami in the fridge as a thank you; my brother had sent the salami to me from the famous New York deli, subverting strict Aussie customs regulations by filling in "Restaurant Souvenir" on the official green form taped to the box. Our sibling mega-joke, the unexpected salami. I'd wrapped one up in a Saks Fifth Avenue box for Frank's graduation from the Rhode Island School of Design. Tit for tat, he'd managed to have room service deliver a half pound one to me while I attended a vacuum physics conference in Chicago, the week after Will and I announced our engagement. Stuart had eaten half the salami while I was at the pier. I could tell by his breath and the missing meat. But since he'd opened my door, I pretended I didn't notice and made him salami and eggs the way my Uncle Barry had shown me years ago. "The Jewish bachelor's caviar," Uncle Barry always said. Stuart and I got to talking, and he acknowledged his heroin addiction indirectly, commenting on a funky street-type who was being interviewed about the Australian recession on the news. Stuart looking straight at me: "He's skint 'cause he's been shooting up for a year I'd say. My teeth looked liked that a year ago. You can tell by the teeth

Excerpted from The Unexpected Salami: A Novel by Laurie Gwen Shapiro
All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

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