By Mark Costello
It's wintry weather in New Hampshire, the economic system is booming, the vice chairman is operating for president, and his mystery carrier everyone is very, very tense.
Meet Vi Asplund, a tender mystery carrier agent mourning her lifeless father. She is going domestic to New Hampshire to work out her brother Jens, a working laptop or computer genius who simply could be going mad—and is poised to make a fortune on giant If, a viciously nihilistic laptop online game aimed toward youngsters. Vi's the USA, as she sees it within the crowds, in her brother, and in her fellow brokers, is prosperous, frightened, and abuzz with obscure fantasies of violence.
Through a gallery of brilliant characters—heroic, ignoble, or desperate—Mark Costello's hilarious novel limns the techniques, either sound and absurd, that we conjure to outlive in everyday life.
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Additional resources for Big If: A Novel
Arthur Young. 'The Riee Riots of 1918' in J. Livingston, J. Moore and F. Oldfather (eds), The Japan Reader 1 (Harmondsworth Middx: Penguin, 1973) p. 324. 16. Ogura, op. , p. 158. 17. , p. 161. 18. Hayami, op. , p. 61. 19. , 1963) p. 26. 20. Ogura, op. , p. 186. 21. P. K. Hall, 'Japan's Farm Seetor, 1920-1940: a Need for Reassessment', Journal of Agricultural History, 1985, p. 614. 22. Ca1culated according to the figures provided by Ogura, op. , p. 687. 23. Hall, op. , p. 611. 24. , 1963) p. 26.
Such aged farm households without succession numbered 510 000 in 1984. 25 In the long run , in the next century, this might contribute to enlarged viable farm sizes and to a reduction in the over-aHocation of labour to agrieulture and thus to a more rational farm economy. Professor Hemmi reports Japanese forecasts that by the year 2000 mainly through leased transfers from retired farmers a 'fairly large number' of 10 to 15 ha grain farms and 20 to 35 ha dairy farms will come into existence. 26 In many remote rural areas the outmigration of younger couples has reduced birthrates and social life in general, making the maintenance of public and private serviees a too costly affair, hence triggering the ultimate abandonment of some outlying villages.
38. 41. Michael W. D. thesis, Columbia University, 1978, p. 66. 42. Matsuura, Tatsuo and Morio Morisaki, The Japanese Feed Market (Tokyo: Japan International Agrieultural Couneil, 1985) pp. 11-12. 43. , p. 16. 44. Japan Foreign Trade Couneil, The Sogo Shosha (Tokyo, undated), p. 8. 45. Kojima, Kiyoshi and Terutomo Ozawa, Japan's General Trading Companies (Paris: OECD, 1984) p. 59. 46. Japan Company Handbook (Toyo Keizai Skimposha, 1985). 47. OECD, Doe. FI/266 of 10 June 1986, p. 18. 48. JETRO, Wine Aeeess to Japan's Import Market, no.
Big If: A Novel by Mark Costello