Octopus Summer: A Novel

Octopus Summer: A Novel

by Malcolm Dorson


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Callum Littlefield walks a fine line between arrogant overconfidence and self-deprecating insecurity. After being ostracized by his peers and getting thrown out of his New England boarding school, Callum’s parents exile him to his aging grandmother’s Gold Coast estate on Long Island. He is promptly put to work with her smattering of servants, and is forced to interact with his old Macumba-practicing Brazilian nanny.

Though Callum reunites with old friends and tries his hand at the prep school party scene, he soon tires of his duties and escapes back to his family's empty Manhattan townhouse. There he meets a young girl named Layla, who changes his life in more ways than even he can understand.

In one summer, Callum finds love, adventure, death, and heartbreak, all the while offering us a detailed social commentary on his blue blood, eastern surroundings.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781619022980
Publisher: Catapult
Publication date: 06/17/2014
Pages: 240
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.50(d)
Age Range: 14 Years

About the Author

Malcolm Dorson was born in New York City and spent his childhood in Sao Paulo before returning to New York with his family. He earned a bachelors degree from the University of Pennsylvania and an MBA from Wharton, as well as his MA from the Lauder Institute. He currently lives in Washington D.C.

Read an Excerpt

Back to the bartender. I was furious. No chance in hell was I going to be defeated, so I just stood there and stared him down. Who the hell was this middle aged, balding, overweight, no class, assclown to not serve ME a drink. Look around, ass. Sure I was on the younger side, but LOTS of these kids were still in school and underage! I was about to explode. Layla was going to think I was a complete joke. I had to put this embarrassing bar scene behind me and go introduce myself. I looked for her back in the crowd when suddenly another hand tapped me on my shoulder. This one with long red nails.

“Soooorry, I don’t ussuwally dew this honey, but you are just too adooowrable for me to NOT set you up with my dawda” said the tipsy forty-something-year-old trespasser in a burgundy dress. Her voice was a torturous blend of Queens and New Jersey. I wanted to turn away and find Layla, but I was not ready, and this woman was at least a distraction from my enemy behind the counter. “Pam” chatted my ear off for a solid half-hour. Not that I really minded, though. Schmoozing with adults had always been an effective way to build up my ego, and at that moment I needed it. Besides, I was totally eating up the idea of Layla wondering what was going on between this mysterious older woman and me. Who am I kidding? She probably hadn’t even noticed. After ten minutes of listening, I had had enough of her banter and began to dominate the conversation. I looked over and made brief eye contact with Layla. Yes! Mather, future in college, Long Island, traveling, her daughter, blah blah blah. I was back. I said good-bye and was through with her, feeling like a young “master of the universe” once again. Layla was nowhere in sight.

She had vanished. I walked around from table to table polishing off other people’s drinks until I saw Collin, who was talking to a tiny little firecracker I knew from tennis camp. Her black thong showed through her zebra print dress. I started to go over to say hello, but I heard the bell signaling that it was time for dinner. Everyone was already seated by the time I reached Mrs. Carson across the room, and I began to feel a little bit like a moron. When I got to the table, Mrs. Carson signaled that the younger generation of the Carson party was at table sixty-eight. She pointed across the stiff, silent room, and I almost died. I was sticking out like a sore thumb. Layla was sure to see me. What a goof. I power walked to through the crowded room, hopping over chairs, trying not to trip and throwing out “pardons” and “excuse mes” every five seconds. Halfway to the table, Sinatra’s “Come Fly With Me” began and an Anglo-Saxon Chinese dragon of white dresses started marching towards me. The ladies of the Junior Committee, all dressed in white like the swans they were saving, shuffled toward the podium at the front of the tent. A porky little blonde who was probably twenty-eight and too old for this type of thing led the way. She paused as she saw me in her path, and the sheep behind her piled on like a nightmare on I-95. I waved, put my head down, and darted out of the way.

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