The new rules say 16 rather than as many as 30 without a break, and not everyone is happy about the change. I thought of this when I came to a passage in Charles Willeford's novel The Shark-Infested Custard. The viewpoint character is Hank, a pharmaceutical salesman who muses upon the tendency of doctors to abuse drugs:
"`I can handle it,' they thought, and they would pop a bennie to get through a six a.m. operation, and then another bennie at ten a.m., to get through their hospital rounds, and then, because they were bone-tired, and beginning to get sleepy by one or two p.m., and they had an office full of waiting patients to get through, they would take a couple of more bennies that afternoon. And so it would go, with emergency calls at night, and the first thing they knew they would be hooked--on bennies, or dexies, or nose candy, and eventually, on horse."My early impressions of this book are that Willeford does a stunning job of portraying the lives of working men in the United States, and that he paints a convincing picture of Miami. (The book would make a nice companion for Stuart M. Kaminsky's Lew Fonesca stories, set in Sarasota, Florida.) The prelude to Hank's attempted seduction of a woman who is not what she seems goes on a bit too long, but that's a quibble.
Here's a bit about Willeford at Wikipedia. And here are your questions: Who else has written about working men in ways that make you say, "He's got it!"? David Mamet? Donald Westlake? And has any novel ever had a better title than The Shark-Infested Custard?
© Peter Rozovsky 2011