Welcome to The Town Book Store
The Town Book Store has been serving Westfield and neighboring communities since 1934. We are one of the last independent bookstores located in Union County, New Jersey. In today’s rapidly changing retail environment, The Town Book Store remains one constant where shoppers can find a first-rate literary selection with friendly, personalized service in an attractive, convenient setting. Whether you are reading for escape, for comfort, to gain knowledge, for pure pleasure or as a source of lively conversation, visit or call us at The Town Book Store and we can match you up with the right book.
Owner, The Town Book Store
Anne's Pick of the Month
The Miracle Life of Edgar Mint
by Brady Udall
Reminiscent of another debut Ken Kesey's One Flew
Over the Cuckoo's Nest this powerful first novel by
short story writer Udall (Letting Loose the Hounds)
is constructed around grotesque set pieces; black humor drives the plot. Set in the late '60s, Udall's story begins when seven-year-old Edgar Mint, the half-Apache, half-white narrator, is run over by the mailman's car, his head crushed. Abandoned by his grandmother and alcoholic mother after his remarkable recovery, the boy begins an odyssey through various institutions and homes, starting with St. Divine's hospital in Globe, Ariz., where he recuperates, through Willie Sherman's, a horrific school for Indian children, ending up placed with a dysfunctional Mormon family in Richland, Utah. The novel's long middle section, describing Edgar's brutalization at the Indian school by the other kids, captures the effect of what seems like endless bullying on a child's consciousness. Against this hostility, Edgar concocts a homemade magic, which consists mainly of typing on a clunky Hermes typewriter given to him by a fellow St. Divine's patient, Art Crozier, a middle-aged man who has lost his family in a car wreck. One of Udall's best touches is to make the doctor who saved Edgar, Barry Pinkley, into a mysterious and menacing figure, perpetually lurking on the sidelines, rather like Clare Quilty in Lolita. While Pinkley strives maniacally to be Edgar's guardian angel, the boy views him with ambivalent loathing. When Pinkley, disguised as a Mormon missionary, seduces Lana Madsen, the wife in the Mormon family that takes Edgar in, he sets off the final catastrophe in the boy's life. Udall's style is reminiscent of the '60s black humorists, but he doesn't share their easy cruelty or inveterate superciliousness, making this not only an accomplished novel, but a wise one.