An Orderly Life
Rafe Sabas is the ideal corporate man. He is on a first name basis with the president of his company and likes to think about a deal while talking ... Show synopsis Rafe Sabas is the ideal corporate man. He is on a first name basis with the president of his company and likes to think about a deal while talking about something else. "I am not good at thinking alone," he quips, "corporate life ruins you for that." Rafe's personal life, too, is right where he wants it. He's got a proper wife and children to greet him in the evening, but he still dabbles in the occasional carefree infidelity at his company's expense. He rhapsodizes on his theories of stoic emotion, casual sex, the starburst of pleasure offered by a short of gin and the key to successful drinking binges. He is as cool as his favorite beverage: a crisp martini on the rocks. But when Jerry, a friend from Rafe's past, resurfaces, Rafe's world of order and convention begins showing fissures. Rafe's planned evening of casual conversation and call girls is disrupted by Jerry's emotional collapse at his impending divorce. After a few well-placed comments like "Don't let it get you, fella," Rafe expects to slip back into his old world unscathed. What follows is a devastating trip through their past sexual infidelities, friendship-breaking betrayals, and forgotten loyalties. With sharp dialogue and cutting wit, Yglesias offers a scathing view of a group of friends and their descent from the idealism of their youth into the cynicism of middle age. Rafe's life is populated with a village of quirky characters: cousin Abel who sends pictures of his feet on writing paper--his way, Rafe tells us, of begging for shoes ... the corporate lug who closes every request for call girls by mentioning his wife ... the militant and brash young Aldo ... and a cadre of political ideologues, corporate sell-outs andbefuddled non-participants. Yglesias' novel is a tour-de-force, a raucous and turbulent look at one man trying to get ahead in the business world by putting his youthful zeal behind him.