cover of book
by Jim Grimsley
University of Texas Press, 2007
Cloth: 978-0-292-71669-8 | eISBN: 978-0-292-73896-6
Library of Congress Classification PS3557.R4949F67 2007
Dewey Decimal Classification 813.54


"The Lifetime movie of my divorce and crime spree will be entitled Breakdown at Midnight.... Sympathy for my character will be established by my loss of a wildly respectable, lucrative job with Arthur Andersen, a company which turned out to be as crooked as its customers. I will be another orphan of the American Dream gone sour, and eventually I will give in to the so-called dark side of my nature when I strangle Carmine with the strap of her Prada bag, or stab her to death with a survivalist-quality knife, or bludgeon her skull to a bloody pulp with a classic Tiffany lamp; this part of the script will have to wait for the real event to unfold since, though I've decided that tomorrow will be the day I kill her, I have yet to choose how."
—Charley Stranger

Turning headline news into biting social satire, Jim Grimsley exposes the amorality of materialistic America in Forgiveness, a blackly comic tale of a bankrupt accounting executive who dreams of achieving stardom in the only way a pathetic failure can—by murdering his wife. As Charley Stranger imagines the crime, he fantasizes wildly unlikely encounters with celebrities—sharing marital woes with Nicole Kidman over a latte at Starbucks, being interviewed by Barbara Walters—while in real life his wife Carmine incessantly ridicules his inability to perform either in bed or in the marketplace. As Forgiveness veers to its shocking conclusion, it strips bare the corruption of the American Dream—the moral bankruptcy of corporate and political institutions, the hollowness of living in a media-saturated world, the delusion of buying love with luxury goods.

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