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Friday, December 15, 2017
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ANYTHING GOES, by my now favorite author, Carl Douglass, begins where THE YOUNG COYOTE leaves off. Garven Wilsonhulme, escapee from the dust and ignorance of his hometown, Cipher, Arizona, has clawed his way through a high-echelon California prep school, into Stanford, and has made it to his sophomore year—a feat that was not a forgone conclusion. Despite the risks to himself, Garven continues to be the legendary boy prankster, and his weary adoptive father, Dr. Wilsonhulme, lays down the law: behave or be cut off. Garven is no fool; he straightens up and becomes what he was meant to be—an intellectual and classroom force to be reckoned with, and a disciplined fighter. He takes the Pacific Coast wrestling championship. His focus on getting into medical school hardens into an implacable drive which will brook no serious challenges. He takes extra classes, finds tutors for the subjects where he is deficient, and he takes his serious fights to venues of obscurity. When he discovers a classmate in his quantitative analysis chemistry course tampering with his “unknown”—a chemical which Garven must identify and quantify down to ten-thousandth of a gram—he ignores protocol niceties and challenges him to a fight in an empty gymnasium and very nearly kills him. The pattern is now set in stone for Garven. Get in his way at your peril, and this is a credo that will follow his career for the rest of his life. He will never ask for quarter nor give one.

The renowned professor of psychology who gives Garven a job as a lab subject in one of his studies holds the key to Garven’s grade-point-average and his success or failure at the university. A bad grade from him, and Garven can kiss his chances of getting into medical school good-bye. When the professor refuses to pay him for the work Garven has done for the entire year, Garven asks for what he is due, then demands what is right—both of which antagonize the important and pivotal professor. To spite the uppity young man, the professor deliberately drops his grade to a ‘C’ which will destroy the ultimately ambitious young man who has come up from Cipher. Shortly before final grades are to come up for the quarter, Garven confronts his nemesis and brings about events resulting in a colossal change for aspiring doctor. There seems to be no way out of this entanglement, and Garven is tested to his uttermost.

-Neal Dastrup

Author: My Implausible Memoirs and The Icy Strait;

Proprietor: Alaskan Bear Lodge, Excursion Inlet, Alaska.