The Bargain Shopper
“It’s almost cheaper than shoplifting,” raves The Bargain Shopper about his system for deep-discount shopping. Born into the ‘wrong century’, Charles Rochambeau despises technology, computers, and internet shopping. He was cursed with ‘bad timing’ as his father squandered the family fortune on Wall Street. As a scion of the legendary French general who helped Washington defeat the British in The Revolutionary War, he has become a ‘Certified Professional Shopper’ in the service of an aristocratic divorcee, Beatrice Wolcott, whom like Charles, has endured a life of bad luck and tragedies. As Major Domo for her estate in Westchester County, Charles witnesses her close relationship with Ryan Keneally, the longtime family plumber, whose son, Trey reveals several shocking Wolcott family secrets. Charles suspects her friendship with Ryan seems much too close be platonic. Yet, Charles maintains his belief in ‘The American Dream’ and holds his ground as ‘A Soldier of Truth’ despite privation and adversity. He is dedicated to ‘The Madame’ and hopes to rectify the past, so they can both recover their lost dreams and proud family legacies. The Great Pandemic arrives and shuts down most of the shopping malls. God is dead. Like Ignatius Reilly in A Confederacy of Dunces, Charles realizes he is trapped in a corrupt modern world, over-run by duplicities, politics and lies. Has The American Dream become Paradise Lost? Is Charles crazy or has Le Monde simply gone mad? Like Dante’s Inferno, The Bargain Shopper is an unexpurgated account of a Pilgrim’s journey to Hell and back.