BOON JUSTER or The Reason for Everything

by Garth Hallberg


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Boon Juster or The Reason for Everything


This darkly comic Big Apple romp—featuring aging prep-school buddies, sexy broads, loony billionaires, cutthroat realtors, a Georgetown based "consultant" who looks after the final delusions of "astronuts," a politically incorrect family of fakers and fixers, and even a cameo appearance by Babe Ruth—will leave you wondering if the Apollo program was where America started to go wrong.

Was it just one big photo op?

READ MORE: Aging baby-boomer and laid-off ad guy Tom Hammock is entangled in a Manhattan realtor’s job he hates, beleaguered romantically by his hard-charging boss, Cerise, beset by his not-quite–ex-wife, Kate, a crusading TV journalist for “Second America,” and demoralized by the daily dystopia in Washington and the country’s six years in the economic meat grinder.

Still, Tom has everything under control until he is confronted by the sudden death of Boon Juster—his long-estranged high school hero, baseball team mentor, and romantic rival, as well as the fourteenth and last man to walk on the moon. Without any explanation, Boon has named Tom his executor, leaving him a trail of ambiguous clues about his state of mind and the reality of his feats as an astronaut, the most famous of which was smuggling a baseball aboard the Apollo 18 lunar lander and swatting the juiciest hanging curveball in the universe.

Tom’s chaotic, four-day odyssey to discover the truth involves a Georgetown-based “consultant” who looks after the final delusions of “astronuts,” the discovery of a secret room filled with tantalizing hints about a government hoax, the confessions of Babe Ruth’s “niece,” a predatory Wall Street banker who’s the money behind the übercapitalist PAC, REV-Up America!, and a “too perfect” photograph of Boon Juster hitting the home run on the moon that may or may not expose the perfidy of NASA and Tricky Dick and shatter the iconic image of one of the last Great American Moments.

The search for answers ultimately leads Tom back to the original scene of the crime—Spotswoodie, the baseball-mad prep school that he starred for as a pitcher—where all the characters harassing him converge in a tumultuous and ironic all-American finale full of surprises about love, death, and the state of our country—and facing down the tyranny of youthful dreams.

Praise for Boon Juster

Self-Publishing Review Awards 2014—One of two novels "Commended"

“Hallberg plants seeds of doubt about the Apollo moon landings in this social satire.…ruminating on love, loss, prestige, greed, baseball (including the game’s secret origins) and the struck-out American dream.…The message is that in a Great Recession USA of middle-class downsizings, lapsed idols, lying presidents, and cheating banks, the moon landing remains one thing Americans can point to with pride—so why not suspect it of being just another instance of government-military–corporate-media fakery?

…Mordant, Stendhal-like literary approach. An urbane think-piece of a novel on alleged moon-landing—and baseball and business and marriage—lies.”
Kirkus Reviews

"Compelling, plot-driven...the story sticks in the reader's mind, raising questions about what they really know about historical events, and if they can trust what they hear in the future."
Foreword Clarion Reviews

"Well-written, thoughtful, and provocative. If you're looking for a book that after you're finished reading leaves you wanting more, Boon Juster fills the bill."—Ira Berkowitz, Shamus Award winning author of the Jackson Steeg Mystery Series