How many of us have a handsome and charming uncle who is a successful crime novelist, considers himself a nuanced observer of the passing global scene (in a world made up mostly of those who invariably lack his uniquely well-informed outlook), and never allowed his marriage to an attractive Italian immigrant to the U.S. to get in the way of his pursuing other women…. and now, given time stops for no one, as he ages they are becoming increasingly younger women?
Okay, true, most of us aren’t related to a successful crime novelist, of course. ;-)
But James has that for an uncle. Moreover, some of those women actually do return Uncle Bill’s interest. As James’s mother – Bill’s younger sister – castigates her brother:
“You always really goddamn know everything, don’t you…. other than to not use a joint credit card to cheat on your wife.”
Part rogue, part wannabe family man, he is a contradiction; and even he appears to grasp that. There are moments he is so obnoxious and infuriating that seemingly everyone wants to punch him in the face. Yet, at other times (sometimes only moments later), he is sagacious and a useful person to hear out thanks to, one might say, his, uh, world of experience.