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The Ha-Ha
by Dave King

Category: Fiction / General
0 pages; ISBN: 0316156108

Rating: 10/10  (Ratings explained)
Reviewer: Harriet Klausner

Review

The Ha-Ha
Dave King
Little, Brown, Jan 2005, $23.95
ISBN: 0316156108

Three decades ago while on his first month of duty in Viet Nam, Howard Kapostash suffered a head injury that devastated his communication abilities. Though his intelligence remained average, he no longer could speak, nor write or read. His emotional quotient was already lagging before the trauma and over the subsequent thirty years since has not developed. Howard shares his childhood home with Vietnamese-American Laurel, who makes specialty soups for local restaurants; and Steve and Harrison two housepainters he calls to himself Nit and Nat.

Taking advantage that Howard still has some feelings for her, Sylvia dumps her reticent nine-year-old child Ryan on Howard to take care of him while she is away though he has no experience with children. This dysfunctional commune soon comes together as the four adults responsibly and lovingly rally for the child. As the quartet learn about what life is all about, Sylvia will return soon and take away their catalyst, but will each one slip back to indifference and irresponsibility?

Though what happens to the foursome when Ryan enters their lives seems too obvious and expected, readers will not care as Dave King provides a deep look at the importance of having a reason to live not jus exist. The story line is terrific as the four adults begin to mature and provide stability to the introverted child who changed their lives for the better. Fans will enjoy this fine character study as everyone begins to heal because now they have a cause.

Harriet Klausner

 

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