Broccoli for breakfast is not recommended unless it’s putting you in touch with central truths about human nature. And in this comic-serious masterpiece, that’s exactly what it does for Professor Wilson Ablong, rudely irreverent Nobel laureate and medical hero. Yet Ablong remains a lost and isolated soul—until a young man seeking a mentor turns the professor’s world upside-down. Then the same mind that drew from mythology, math, literature, and philosophy to cure major diseases begins scouring its own contents to heal itself.

In creating Wilson Ablong, Alan Salant has created a character who fills up this wonderful short novel not only with things that will give you more laughter than you’ve had since reading Lucky Jim, but with something else immeasurably valuable but increasingly foreign to American fiction—ideas. Names of famous thinkers fall on Salant’s pages—Einstein, Proust, Levi-Strauss, Gödel, Heisenberg—as gently as raindrops and just as naturally. After all, troubled as he is by his own deep and particular sorrow (you’ll find out about it), Ablong is also a genius who thinks as instinctively as he breathes.

So sit down, take a few deep breaths of your own, and join Wilson Ablong on his sly, subtle, sharp, and riotously funny quest and let this unusual work wash over you with its charm, resonance, and—yes, its profound depth.


About Alan Salant

ALAN SALANT studied mathematics and literature at Princeton University. He is a writer--and a thinker--who wishes for a society that places a higher value on introspection and contemplation. He lives in New York City with his long-time domestic partner, Sheila Fallik, a social worker and geriatric care manager. Salant is author of the outstanding short novel, Ablong, published by The Oliver Arts & Open Press in the fall of 2010.