2280 Bethany Road
DeKalb, IL 60115
Dollarapalooza or The Day Peace Broke Out in Columbus
A hilarious satire featuring the rag-tag employees of Dollarapalooza vs. the evil corporate Wow-Mart
“Dollarpalooza has a host of memorable and varied characters, a compelling narrative, and vivid descriptions of place. Some of the best moments for me were rooted in concrete data—like the catalog of items that were going into the dollar store and the cataloging of customer types who came to the store. I also very much enjoyed the various observations about Columbus”—Jim Heynen, author of The One-room Schoolhouse
This sprawling, footnoted, comedic epic centers around Vonn Carp, who travels to his hometown of Columbus, Ohio, for a funeral. He is returning disgraced and destitute, when, after a long and productive career in higher education, he was discovered to have falsified his academic credentials 20 years prior. Recently divorced and suddenly unemployable, he reluctantly agrees to join his father, Milt, in what he considers an iffy business venture—Dollarapalooza,a family-owned dollar store.
For Milt the shop is the fulfillment of a lifelong dream for old fashioned mercantilism, a “general” store. The store falls on hard times when a massive, big box “Wow-Mart” opens across the street, and after a nearly tragic armed robbery in his store, Milt disappears. To the surprise and chagrin of the Carp family, Vonn insists on re-opening Dollarapalooza. Along with the store’s eccentric staff, Vonn fashions an alternative business model aiming to make a difference in people’s lives “one dollar at a time.” For just one dollar, Vonn will answer anybody’s question on any topic, and the citizens of Columbus come to him seeking his opinions on subjects like love, celibacy, anthropology, metaphysics, the Internet, and the true meaning of value. Through his interactions with the store’s staff and customers, he conceives a new way of life with a changed outlook and a restored sense of purpose.
Gregg Sapp, a native Ohioan, is a writer, librarian, college teacher, and academic administrator. This is his first novel.
(2011) 515 pp.
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