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The Aggravation of Elmer   By: (1909-1969)

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The Aggravation of Elmer by Robert Arthur is a captivating and thought-provoking novel that explores the complexities of human relationships and the consequences of our actions. Set in a small, close-knit community, this book delves into the life of Elmer, a man whose seemingly mundane existence takes a tumultuous turn after a series of events unfold.

Right from the start, the author skillfully captures the essence of daily life in a small town, instantly drawing readers into the story. We are introduced to Elmer, a man who embodies the average person with his ordinary routines and interactions. However, as the plot unfolds, Elmer becomes entangled in a web of circumstances that push him to his limits, exposing the darker side of human nature.

One of the most compelling elements of this novel is the handling of the characters. Robert Arthur brilliantly portrays a diverse range of individuals, each with their own flaws and virtues. Whether it's Elmer's eccentric neighbor, the conniving town gossip, or the enigmatic love interest, their interactions and complexities add depth and authenticity to the story. Not only do these characters help drive the narrative forward, but they also offer profound insights into the nature of human behavior, making them relatable and unforgettable.

Furthermore, Arthur's writing style is engaging and evocative. With well-crafted prose and a keen eye for detail, he masterfully creates vivid images that transport readers to the quaint streets of Elmer's town. The descriptive passages are neither excessive nor indulgent, allowing readers to envision the scenes while leaving room for personal interpretation and imagination.

The Aggravation of Elmer also excels at exploring themes of regret, redemption, and the ripple effects of our choices. As Elmer grapples with the consequences of his actions, both past and present, readers are encouraged to reflect on their own lives and the potential domino effect of their decisions. This introspection is a testament to the book's ability to entertain while prompting deeper contemplation.

However, one minor criticism would be the pace of the novel. At times, the story seems to linger on certain subplots, diverting attention from the central narrative. However, this is a minor flaw in an otherwise well-crafted plot.

In conclusion, The Aggravation of Elmer is a compelling and thought-provoking novel that explores the complexities of human nature with great insight. Robert Arthur's skillful characterization and evocative prose make the story come alive on the page, immersing readers in a world both familiar and unpredictable. This book is a must-read for those seeking a captivating tale that goes beyond surface-level storytelling.

First Page:

The Aggravation of Elmer


The world would beat a path to Elmer's door but he had to go carry the door along with him!

It was the darnedest traffic jam I'd ever seen in White Plains. For two blocks ahead of me, Main Street was gutter to gutter with stalled cars, trucks and buses.

If I hadn't been in such a hurry to get back to the shop, I might have paid more attention. I might have noticed nobody was leaning on his horn. Or that at least a quarter of the drivers were out peering under their hoods.

But at the time it didn't register. I gave the tie up a passing glance and was turning up the side street toward Biltom Electronics Bill Tom, get it? when I saw Marge threading her way to the curb. She was leading a small blonde girl of about eight, who clutched a child size hatbox in her hand. Marge was hot and exasperated, but small fry was as cool and composed as a vanilla cone.

I waited. Even flushed and disheveled, Marge is a treat to look at. She is tall and slender, with brown eyes that match her hair, a smile that first crinkles around her eyes, then sneaks down and becomes a full fledged grin

But I'm getting off the subject.

"Honestly, Bill!" Marge said as she saw me. "The traffic nowadays! We've been tied up for fifteen minutes. I finally decided to get off the bus and walk, even though it is about a hundred in the shade... Continue reading book >>

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