The Dropper

The Dropper

  • Author: Ron McLarty
  • Artist: Les Edwards
  • Page Count: 300
  • Pub. Date: April 24, 2012
  • ISBN: 978-1-58767-275-0
  • Status: Out of Print

This item is Out of Print and will not be available for purchase again.


"This book is filled with rich pleasures and textures — it reminded me of Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men.  I highly recommend it."
— Stephen King

The Dropper
by Ron McLarty

Featuring Cover Artwork by Les Edwards

About the Book:
Some say it's Death, Some say it's darkness, I say it's a game of light...

Gutsy 17-year-old Albert "Shoe" Horn is an apprentice plumber and part-time boxer in England in 1922, but when his mother dies, he finds himself responsible for an abusive, alcoholic father and a younger brother with special needs.

This marvelous novel follows the indomitable Shoe's day-to-day survival with poetic grit, cynical genius, respect, and deep affection as he navigates a world full of very real characters: the gentle giant McAvy, his slave-driving boss, the Irish louts that resurrect his temper, the tempting ladies who seek him out, his hilarious plumbing clients, and the formidable “Dropper,” who Shoe fears will take away the most true thing in his life, his brother.

Find out for yourself why Stephen King proclaimed "The Dropper avoids sentimentality, but not sentiment; Shoe and his brother Bobby live and breathe" when this novel is published as a Cemetery Dance Publications exclusive this year.

"Ron McLarty, who has proven himself a terrific storyteller in such books as The Memory of Running and Traveler, has outdone himself with The Dropper, a story where beauty and brutality mingle in a yarn I just couldn't put down.  This book is filled with rich pleasures and textures — it reminded me of Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men.  As in his previous novels, The Dropper avoids sentimentality, but not sentiment; Shoe and his brother Bobby live and breathe.  I highly recommend it."
— Stephen King

A native of East Providence, RI—Ron McLarty is a veteran actor, accomplished playwright, prolific audiobook narrator and acclaimed novelist.

As a television actor, McLarty has over 100 appearances to his credit. He has been a series regular on Spenser: For Hire, Champs, Cop Rock, and The Return of Jezebel James, in addition to the recurring role of Judge Wright on Law & Order. His most recent appearances include Rescue Me, Sex and the City, The Practice, Judging Amy, and Law & Order: SVU as well as playing Fred Trump, Sr. in Donald Trump: Unauthorized.

His career in film began in 1977 with a performance in The Sentinel and continued with such films as The Postman, Into the Fire, Heartburn, Two Bits, Flamingo Kid, and most recently How Do You Know with Jack Nicholson and Paul Rudd. He was a 1984 nominee for an ACE Award for Best Actor in a Dramatic or Theatrical Program for the movie, Tiger Town.

As a stage actor, McLarty has appeared in numerous productions including starring on Broadway in Moonchildren, Championship Season, and Our Country's Good. He has also written dozens of plays, which have been produced across the country.

McLarty is also noted for his body of work as one of the country's leading audiobook narrators having done over 100 titles including the narration of books authored by Stephen King, Danielle Steel, Richard Russo, Elmore Leonard, Ed McBain, David Baldacci and Scott Turow, among many others.

It was his collaboration with Stephen King that led to his emergence as a published novelist of national repute. Beginning with the early years of his career, McLarty's passion for writing led him to completing 10 novels, in addition to his plays but his efforts to interest a publishing house were unsuccessful. Several years ago he was able to persuade Recorded Books into producing his 3rd novel, The Memory of Running, directly onto tape as an audiobook. It is believed to be the first recorded audiobook of an unpublished novel. Stephen King listened to it in 2002 and wrote his entire column "The Pop of King" about Memory calling it "the best book you can't read." This lead to the publication of The Memory of Running in the USA and fourteen other countries around the world. In January 2007 his second novel, Traveler was published to critical and popular acclaim. The Memory of Running was chosen as the 2007 selection for the Reading Across Rhode Island program.

He has received from Rhode Island College in Providence an Honorary Doctorate of Humanities (2007) and the Charles B. Willard Achievement Award (2005).

He lives in New York City with his wife, the actress Kate Skinner.

Published in three states:
• Trade Hardcover Edition bound in full-cloth and Smyth sewn with full color dust jacket ($25)
• Limited Edition Hardcover of 350 signed and numbered copies bound in full-cloth and Smyth sewn ($50)
• Traycased Hardcover Lettered Edition of 52 signed and lettered copies bound in leather and Smyth sewn with a satin ribbon page marker ($250)

Me. 1992

My brother, Bobby Horn, has lived in my dreams for seventy years. He stands bouncing his ball in the shadow of the special school for special people, staring out at a world he cannot understand. He is fifteen and his sweet, beautiful round face perches on that tall skinny body like a new moon. He sways and jerks his hands and shoulders but keeps his eyes on some distant mystery. I stand facing him, night after night, year after year, decade after decade, and while Bobby Horn remains unchanged, I have shriveled into an eighty-seven year old man slowly disappearing from this earth like smoke from a cigarette.

For some years now, when I wake from this dream, I must lie still in my bed until whoever I might be returns and fills me. Each morning I stare at the ceiling wondering if today I will not come back but linger inside the dream to face my brother forever with shame and sorrow. I catch my name and say it for one more day.

“Shoe Horn. Shoe Horn. Me.”

I struggle from bed into a chair by the window and look out over the Irish Sea. Yes. I remember now that I have come back. Back to familiar smells and murky skies. I light a cigarette, my eighty year habit, and gasp between puffs.

“Shoe Horn,” I say to the sea.

Three days ago I closed my shop door and left East Providence, Rhode Island for England. For Barrow-in-Furness and the life I must call upon and be sure of. This day I will walk through the places and people of that life again and let my old bones do the remembering.

I'll begin at St. Mark's Church. Yes. That minister. How can I remember what he said as if it was only yesterday and I was seventeen once more.