Grand Slams

by Timothy Gager

Based on the author’s true story, Grand Slam: A Coming of Eggs Story features a Holden Caulfield-like anti-hero protagonist named Woody Geyser. An ensemble of characters make up the staff and management at a chain diner, Grand Slams and their back stories and inner lives are deftly woven into the fast-paced narrative. Despite the often more bizarre and troubled manifestations of the other diner workers' lives, Woody is clearly the focal character.

Woody is a young almost-man who is emotionally distressed and unfocused.  He is in an emotional and social limbo a year post high school, and still living with his parents, yet he is focused enough to seek and find work over the summer break from college.

Sugar and Bobby, who are also Woody's age, are working their part-time diner gigs around college schedules, would-be college schedules and pre-career funks. It is unclear at times whether the trio has any clear plans. They do, however, have dreams and passions—the passions often misdirected.

Of the three, Woody is the most attuned to what is going on around him and very invested in how other people's lives are turning out, whereas Sugar and Bobby are just going through the motions, enduring their surroundings and coworkers.

One of these, Joe Keating, the manager of Grand Slams, is a drug-snorting, manipulative misogynist whose faltering career path has led him exactly to where he should be. The unlikeable Keating gets more of what he deserves as Geyser and Sugar form a union that improves their lives.



Timothy Gager has published 17 books of fiction and poetry. Joe the Salamander, his third novel, is set for release in spring, 2022. His previous book, 2020 Poems, reached number one in five different Amazon categories. Gager hosted the successful Dire Literary Series in Cambridge, Massachusetts from 2001 to 2018, and as a weekly virtual series starting in 2020. He has had 1000 works of fiction and poetry published, 17 of which have been nominated for the Pushcart Prize. His work also has been nominated for a Massachusetts Book Award, The Best of the Web, The Best Small Fictions Anthology and has been read on National Public Radio.