|Plot Summary of The Wasp Eater|
|"In 1979, ten-year old Daniel and his mother Anna live a difficult life alone, after Daniel's father Bob has been kicked out of the house for infidelity. Heavy drinking and chain smoking ex-Marine Bob comes to his son's window each night to talk, smoke and give money for Daniel to slip into his mother's purse. Anna's niece Jocelyn returns to Cargill Falls, CT to comfort Anna but has an ulterior motive for becoming embroiled in the domestic crisis. On a previous stay after the death of Jocelyn's mother she took a ring that had been in the family for years. Bob works to patch up the troubled marriage but Anna won't go the same route her mother and sister have in taking back philandering husbands. Daniel is angry and conflicted by the situation, often put at odds with one parent by the other. Occasionally, he accompanies his father to work cleaning windows of local businesses, but Bob keeps him out late as he drinks his way back to Anna's house to drop his son off.
Bob and Jocelyn have a love hate relationship. Jocelyn shows Bob the receipt for the missing ring that is now at a pawnshop in NY, so he gives Daniel the paper for safekeeping. One morning during a heated moment between Anna and Bob, Daniel slips away by bus, bound for the pawnshop in NYC. He reaches the store, discovering the money he has brought will not cover the cost of the ring, so he panics and swallows the ring. He father and Jocelyn pick him up from the police station. Bob being Bob takes his time leaving the city and decides the group will spend the night. At the hotel that night something transpires between Jocelyn and Bob but Daniel is unable to tell what happened.
In the morning, both his father and his cousin are gone but the Bonneville is still there in the parking lot. Daniel waits by the car and his dad shows but no sign of his cousin. They wait but eventually work their way out of the city. Bob thinks this would be an excellent time for a vacation alone with his son. They travel west, making camp along a lake with Bob sending Anna a postcard inviting her to join them. Daniel is torn between love for his dad and the lack of regard his father has for others. Bob gives Daniel his first drink of hard liquor and they hike and swim each day until Anna shows up. The novel's last chapter advances many years and wraps up the family situation with Daniel and Anna coming to terms with the strange and erratic figure in their lives."
David Fletcher, Resident Scholar
|Review Analysis of The Wasp Eater|
Our unique search engine provides a wealth of detail about books by breaking them down into many different literary elements, all of which are searchable (click here).
Ratings are on a 1-10 scale (Low to High)
Tone of book?
Time/era of story
Kids growing up/acting up?
Family, struggle with
- Father (or standin)
Is this an adult or child's book?
- Adult or Young Adult Book
Age group of kid(s) in story:
- grade school
- a kid
Is this an ordinary person caught up in events?
- White (American)
How sensitive is this character?
- soggy whimpering jelly muffin
- Average intelligence
- average physique
- small businessman
- emotionally unstable
How much of work is main antagonist actually present in:
- throughout most of the book.
How sensitive is this character?
- middling sensitive to others' feelings
Sense of humor
- Cynical sense of humor
- druggie/wino disease
How much descriptions of surroundings?
- 6 ()
- mostly 3rd
Accounts of torture and death?
- generic/vague references to death/punishment
Sex in book?
What kind of sex:
- vague references
- a lot of flashback and forwards
Amount of dialog
- significantly more descript than dialog
Click here for more information about this book
William Lychack Resident Scholar Profiles|
Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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