Alligator Candy: A Memoir by David Kushner

By David Kushner

From award-winning journalist David Kushner, a standard contributor to Rolling Stone, the recent Yorker, self-importance reasonable, and different premiere magazines, Alligator sweet is a suggested memoir approximately relations, survival, and the unwavering energy of love.

David Kushner grew up within the early Seventies within the Florida suburbs. It used to be while children nonetheless ran unfastened, using motorcycles and disappearing into the within sight woods for hours at a time. One morning in 1973, despite the fact that, every thing replaced. David’s older brother Jon biked in the course of the woodland to the ease shop for sweet, and not returned.

Every existence has a defining second, a unmarried act that charts the path we take and determines who we develop into. For Kushner, it was once Jon’s disappearance—a tragedy that stunned his kin and the neighborhood at huge. many years later, now a grown guy with little ones of his personal, Kushner stumbled on himself unhappy together with his personal thoughts and made up our minds to revisit the episode a distinct manner: in the course of the eyes of a reporter. His research introduced him again to the locations and folks he as soon as knew and slowly made him notice simply how a lot his earlier had affected his current. After sifting via hundreds and hundreds of files and reviews, engaging in dozens of interviews, and poring over quite a few firsthand money owed, he has produced a strong and encouraging tale of loss, perseverance, and reminiscence. Alligator sweet is searing and unforgettable.

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Extra resources for Alligator Candy: A Memoir

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At the side of the highway, Bloom would scare up poisonous snakes. Jeff and I would retreat into our discrete anxieties. The car could be retired here or it could survive to the Bay Area (where it would have its alternator replaced), but if we had to stay in Elko, or Reno, or Sacramento for a few days, if we had to sleep in the car, call home for money, buy a new car, kill each other out of despair and poverty, what difference did it make? The music of King Crimson, I recognize, is the kind of noodling, pretentious music that no one should admit listening to, even on headphones in the desert, but the particular song that I would like to claim for the moment has appropriate resonances, namely “Neil and Jack and Me,” a song about the Beat writers and their relentless crisscrossing of the nation’s highway infrastructure, and maybe Jeff, the budding novelist, and I had some atavistic love for the myth of writers crisscrossing the nation’s highway infrastructure, drinking, thinking somber thoughts, passing through the Tetons in a day, snowfall in the mountains one night, and the next in the desert, wasting quarters in a slot machine, eating peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwiches on the prairie with a skittish mutt.

I spent most of my commencement gift on rent and security deposit for the apartment, so I needed a job. They were kindly, but when they agreed to meet me they had no idea of how unmarketable my skills really were. I had no idea either. Or I got the name of the interviewer wrong, or even the name of the bank. After each prospect soured, I would feel that I had made my effort that day and that I could now repair to our apartment to read the paper or go for a walk in the park or drink champagne out of plastic stemware by the Pacific Ocean.

My grandfather recovered from his sequence of illnesses, from pneumonia and the mysterious gram-negative infection, but he was never strong again, and his emphysema got a lot worse, even though he gave up smoking and converted to the chewing tobacco that was his solace in these last years. The house in Norwalk was fitted out with antique spittoons. One morning, my grandmother made coffee and called from the top of the stairs, as usual. No reply. We sold off the sports coupe for scrap. Which brings me to the last conversation I had with him, when I was home on some break from school (up in New Hampshire, where I had enrolled for ninth grade).

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