When Bertram Wiggly retired as an appliance actuary – his job was to calculate the precise life expectancy of ice boxes and electric stoves so the warranty expires one day before they implode – he thinks Medville is the perfect place to spend his twilight years. A lovely place with a town square circled by brick-cobbled streets and quaint shops with bright red and white awnings. Beyond that are charming cottages with white picket fences and deep front porches on which the newspaper boy plops The Daily Bugle each day with a perfect overhead lob, announcing the delivery with a ding-ding from the bell on his blue bicycle. While it would be a lie to say the weather is ideal, the inclement weather Medville does have is invariably scenic. Rain, when it falls, comes down hard and is so exhilarating, that many times townsfolk deliberately go out and walk in it, lifting their faces as if the pelting drops were sunshine. In winter, snow piles the ground and fence rails like cream-cheese icing, not a muddy or slushy patch to be seen. Fall is breathtaking. Spring, a delight.
But then, the city votes to rezone itself for musicals.
A mysterious conductor, Sam, moves in along with a complete orchestra, which has a remarkable capacity for invisibility. Now, music from unseen instruments fills the air, and the formerly sane townspeople are apt to break into song at the drop of a note. What’s worse, it becomes apparent there is a plot afoot, a love story in which Bertram Wiggly, against his will, has been cast as the laughable villain. And everything he does to resist only seems to fulfill his role.
Will Bertram defy Sam the Conductor and keep his beloved Mary from the clutches of the loathsome, clean-jawed Jim Hansom?
In the tradition of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, Scoring Bertram Wiggly is a hilarious send-up of old-fashioned Broadway musicals and a delightful meta-fictional farce.
“Man Martin is one of my gods. Right up there with Hermes and Poseidon” – James Iredell, Prose, Poems, a Novel
“Man Martin is no longer just a talent to watch, he’s an author to celebrate. Loudly. And now.” Michael Griffith, Bibliophilia