Handy As I Wanna Be by Vince Rause
A Novel With Tools

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Meet Vinnie Agita -- the Raging Bull of Home Repair, the Hunka-Hunka Handy Love, and all around Godfather of Do-It-Yourself-Soul. If you've ever had an uncontrollable urge to grout the bathroom tiles ... if you've ever said "don't call a plumber, honey -- let me handle this!"...then you'll see goggle-to-goggle with Vince Rause's outrageous alter ego in Handy As I Wanna Be.

Here are the hilarious and poignantly obsessive yearnings of a Handyman's Everyman, a humble guy who hasn't met a home repair project he didn't have to tackle. Vinnie Agita's tool-intensive tale is a marvel of handydom packed with excellent, practical home repair advice, which has prompted critics to proclaim, "It's riveting, magnetic -- will lock you in with the power of its viselike grip!"

Well, not really.

Vinnie is a man whose life revolves around two great passions: his bottomless love for his wife -- the luminously beautiful but increasingly irritable Angela -- and his tireless quest to push the limits of home repair to the ridiculous extreme. For Vinnie, handiness is no hobby -- it's a gestalt, a defining credo. In his own words, "It's the halogen worklamp that brightens the long dark night of the soul."

For Angie, it's more like a big, throbbing pain in the keister.

That's because misadventures plague Vinnie -- he is falsely arrested while trying to break into his own home (testing his new home security system); he innocently mistakes a holy man's ashes for Portland cement, and he takes out the neighbor's garden gnomes with a few misfires from a lethal nail gun.

Things finally come to a head on the day when longsuffering Angela returns from the hair salon to find her home nestled beneath the bloated latex loins of a three-story inflatable chicken plundered from the Thanksgiving Day parade. At Angie's insistence, Vinnie consults a shrink, Dr. Nick, the one person who may help him get in touch with his wounded "inner handyman" and win back the woman he loves.


About Vince Rause

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Vince Rause is a freelance writer whose stories have appeared in The New York Times Magazine, Philadelphia Magazine, and Discovery Online, the internet magazine of the Discovery Channel. He lives in Pittsburgh with his wife Christine, his daughter Carmela, and three tool-phobic felines. This is his first book.
Published June 1, 1999 by Atria. 288 pages
Genres: Humor & Entertainment, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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Between wiring, plastering, painting, and sanding, Nick comes to know Vinnie pretty well, and by the time they—re done Vinnie has traced the roots of his obsession as clearly as a circuit diagram.

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Publishers Weekly

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The hijinks accumulate: Vinnie loses his memory and is captured by Robert Bly-esque ""wild men of the woods,"" while his well-intentioned shrink takes refuge with the Superegomaniacs, a biker gang composed entirely of ""renegade analysts."" From power washers to belt sanders to the chemical arsen...

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