Shields Tarry is a corporate executive teetering on the precipice of overwhelming success, but the more his accomplishments are trumpeted the less he can bear the bawls of acclaim. Because as he insists–in this era of inescapable tumult–nothing that really changes you “Arrives as a wham! It comes in a low, derisive whisper.” A wholly regenerative whisper that Shields so wants to perceive he is willing to risk the enormity of murder or suicide to revive, recollect, recapture; for it’s also his belief that every man and woman has heard this selfsame whisper before . . . commencing at the instant when the Powers-of-Being dissuade them of believing they’re anything special. Anything unique. Anything that anybody would really want to hear or see, much less be.
Yet the pursuit of this previously plundered edification is so frenetic it turns Shields deaf, dumb, and blind to any pursuit at all. A pursuit that finds him unconsciously separating himself from his everyday life, his loves, his friends, and most radically, his given profession in an uncompromising quest to burst beyond the cacophony of the communication age–back to the stillness of the initial whisper–back to a self-styling long lost, but never forgotten.
So with only man’s most commonplace existence of coincidence and circumstance to draw upon, Shields broke from the ordinary to construct a fully autonomous persona deemed Americman. A dangerously mutating man who views survival not as the absence of death, but as the successful confrontation of everything he fears will kill him or, at the very least, condemn him to a life of inexpressible anonymity.