The Final Audit
by Ronald Alexander
“Alexander is an accomplished writer with a deft hand
for characterization, and his work is a joy to read.”
Dexter Giles has lived a double life, balancing a straight-jacketed career in the homophobic towers of corporate culture with his secret life as a gay man. He is of a generation still haunted by pre-Stonewall sensibilities. In The Final Audit and other stories, Ronald Alexander's compelling new work of fiction, Dexter circumnavigates the years surrounding his retirement from Imperial Petroleum by conducting a personal accounting: he brings at times an infuriatingly mathematical logic to settling personal debts, recomputing profit/loss statements, and closing the books on completed transactions. His struggle is informed by both world-weariness and naivete, resentment and compassion, cynicism and romanticism. In the process of attempting to reconcile the polarities of his existence, Dexter, in fits and starts, succeeds in ways both comic and touching in escaping his buttoned-down existence and in coming to terms with his own mortality.
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“I admire the fine writing and compelling details in The Final Audit. The interconnected stories in this novel are serious and unforgettable and they are told with humor and insight. Alexander displays an intuitive grasp of the complexity of family relationships and the power of long-term friendships.”
—Nancy Lamb, novelist
“A novel-in-stories, The Final Audit combines vivid knowledge of farflung locales, keen observation of the infighting of office life, and dispassionate understanding of desire and jealousy. Ronald Alexander's protagonist, Dexter Giles, is sometimes self-composed and sardonically witty, but is also vulnerable to the games played by his co-workers and to the painful disappointments inflicted by the men he loves. Convincingly and memorably portrayed, Dexter finds his way through the deceptions and infighting of corporate life, the turbulence of his private amours, and the difficulties of family. In what feels like an emotional triumph, Dexter also learns to feel compassion for those around him who are suffering. And as a fine debut work from a debut publisher using a debut technology, The Final Audit sparks the hope that publishing can change for the better.”
—Reginald Gibbons, author of Sweetbitter
“This is a collection of well-worded and beautifully thought-out reflections that leave the reader wanting more.”
—Jeffrey Jasper, Lambda Book Report
Ronald Alexander is a Pushcart-nominated writer whose work has appeared in the Chicago Tribune, The James White Review, and Columbia: A Journal of Literature and Art. His novella, Romanze For Martha, was a finalist in the St. Andrews Novella Competition. He has an MFA from Warren Wilson College and lives in Mexico.
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