Grove Press, Black Cat, Paperback, 9780802120496, 327pp.
Publication Date: November 2012
From internationally best-selling author Tommy Wieringa, comes a rich and engrossing novel about a man on an odyssey in search of answers about his dysfunctional artistic family and the legacy they left behind.
When Ludwig Unger returned to his hometown after a decade, he arrived with a plastic bag filled with his mother’s ashes and little else. He was there to make amends with his lonely past, to say goodbye to the familial ghosts that still haunted him. Raised in a cliff-top cottage on the coast of England, Ludwig’s mother tried to create a normal life for her son after her husband one day left them to pursue his art. A mama’s boy, Ludwig grew up in her shadow, developing an obsession with her and her sensual allure. But when he discovered the secret of her past as the world-famous porn star Eve LaSage” and her plans for a comeback, Ludwig’s world spun out of control. He soon found himself homeless, shouldering the shame of his mother’s career, and embarking on a journey that took him around the world.
Little Caesar is a story of beauty and decay, of filial loyalty and parental betrayal, and of the importance of self-sacrifice.
"Beautifully lyrical storytelling under a banner of gray skies and heavy hearts; one gorgeous, epic reminder than no matter what skeletons we have in our closet, we all try our best and our hardest to do well by the ones we loveas Morrissey has sung: 'That's how people grow up.'" Dan Kennedy, Host of The Moth Storytelling Podcast, author of ROCK ON: An Office Power Ballad
"Although perfectly charming as picaresque, the tragedy of Unger’s plight registers just as strongly as its understated oddness . . . Wieringa plays for keeps." Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"The poet Philip Larkin’s famous observation that your mom and dad really mess you up is aptly illustrated in this offbeat, atmospheric novel . . . [a] haunting book." Kirkus Reviews
"A potent, emotionally moving, beautifully realized novel about a young man seeking to understand his difficult, eccentric parents. . . . Wieringa masterfully examines the complex and often agonizing work that many of us undertake to live our own healthy, independent, adult lives." Library Journal
"Tommy Wieringa’s inventive coming-of-age novel [involves] deeply flawed characters, maddening in their poor choices, but in Wieringa’s nimble hands, they elicit our sympathy." Cleveland Plain Dealer
"Tommy Wieringa's ambitious novel is a brilliant exploration of the uneasy transition from adolescence into adulthoodthe restlessness, yearning for stability, irrational decisions and erotic obsessions." The Independent (UK)