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The Abstinence Teacher


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About the Author

Tom Perrotta is the author of five previous works of fiction: "Bad Haircut," "The""Wishbones," "Election," and the "New York Times" bestsellers "Joe""""College" and" Little Children." He lives outside of Boston, Massachusetts.


Campbell Scott's soft but edgy voice, earnest but with a sarcastic undertone, is a supremely apt fit for Perrotta's skewering of modern society. He is equally convincingly whether playing Ruth, a divorced mother and sex-education teacher whose community is becoming increasingly religious, to her transparent disgust, or Tim, Ruth's daughter's soccer coach and a born-again Christian who is dismayed to find himself slipping back to his old drug addict habits. Scott's tone shifts just slightly to distinguish between the deadpan humor of Ruth's gay friend Randall and the pious lack of humor of an "abstinence consultant" brought in to reform Ruth. The evenness of Scott's voice is a reminder of how similar everyone is on a certain basic level, and it makes for a greater impact when he does raise the volume or change his accent. Though Ruth and Tim oppose each other over religion, their love lives are both damaged, and Scott's quiet, intimate delivery brings out the wounded yet stubbornly hopeful side of both of them. This is an effective, smart and sharp production. Simultaneous release with the St. Martin's hardcover (Reviews, July 9). (Oct.) Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.

Praise for Tom Perrotta and "Little Children":
A "New York Times,"" Los Angeles Times," "USA Today," "San Francisco Chronicle," "Boston Globe" and "BookSense" bestseller:
" Extraordinary . . . at once suspenseful, ruefully funny, and ultimately generous."
-- "The New York Times Book Review
" Perrotta is that rare writer equally gifted at drawing people' s emotional maps . . . and creating sidesplitting scenes. Suburban comedies don' t come any sharper."
-- "People"
" A virtuoso set of overlapping character studies."
-- "The Washington Post"
" A precise and witty evocation of the sweet, mind-numbing routines and everyday marital conflicts . . . an effervescent new work."
-- "Entertainment Weekly"
" Perrotta wisely refuses to condescend to the world he satirizes, and his masterful perspective provides the reader with a breezy omniscience over the characters' failures in life. The book is disarmingly funny but rueful . . . a brave novel."
-- "Esquire"

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