BURNT ORANGE HERESY by Charles Willieford

I could have taken State Road Seven straight away by picking it up west of West Palm Beach, but because the old two-lane highway was used primarily by truck traffic barreling for Miami’s back door, into Hialeah, I stayed on U.S. 1 all the way to Boynton Beach before searching for a through road to make the cutover. I got lost for a few minutes and made several aimless circles where new blacktops had been crushed down for a subdivision called inappropriately Ocean Pine Terraces (miles from the ocean, no pines, no terraces), but when I finally reached the state highway, it was freshly paved, and the truck traffic wasn’t nearly as bad as I had expected.

The rain, mercifully, had stopped.

These words were written for Charles Willeford’s 1971 white trash opus THE BURNT ORANGE HERSEY.

I consider this nihilistic novel about a critic seeking an interview of a Marcel Duchampesque artist in order to steal a painting to be the honorable assassination of art world’s attempt to deify nothing and firmly recommend reading BURNT ORANGE HERESY.

It won’t change your life.

But it will open your eyes.

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