The Other Shulman
by Alan Zweibel
Shulman, a chubby, middle-aged stationery-store owner from New Jersey, has always claimed that he’s been gaining and losing the same thirty-five pounds since junior high–and that if you added all of that discarded weight together, he had lost an entire person. Another Shulman. A Shulman he never really cared for. A Shulman he’d always tried to lose by dieting and exercising. A Shulman he’d cover by wearing extra-large shirts in an attempt to hide his existence.
This has been just a joke until, at a crossroads marked by overwhelming marital and business stress, he actually encounters this Other Shulman–an incredibly successful man who’s made life and career choices that Shulman has spurned.
At first, the Other Shulman is but a mere nuisance, a source of frustration brought about by mistaken identity. But as time goes by, his actions become increasingly destructive and threaten to sabotage all aspects of Shulman’s existence.
The struggle between the two Shulmans comes to a head while Shulman is running in the New York City Marathon. And it is during the course of this race, as he runs through the old neighborhoods where his life took shape, that this ordinarily passive family man examines all the choices he’s made and realizes that in order for him to get his life back on track he must confront and overcome his haunting demons as presented in the form of this angry doppelgänger, this Other Shulman.
In 26.2 chapters, one for each mile of the marathon, The Other Shulman is a hilarious and affecting tale of identity and aspiration from one of America’s best-known comic writers.
From the Hardcover edition.
- Random House Publishing Group, December 2007
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