Last Reviewed on June 19, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 336
The Largesse of the Sea Maiden is separated into five separate short stories, each with different groups of characters, so I will break them out individually by story.
In the short story "The Largesse of the Sea Maiden," Bill Whitman is the main character: an ad man who lives in San Diego with his third wife. Tom Ellis is a writer friend of his who spends a lengthy amount of time interviewing William Mason (a death row inmate) and his wife, who was a sex worker but told William that she was studying to become a realtor.
In "The Starlight on Idaho," an alcoholic in rehab named Cass is the main character. The story is written through letters, so the other characters are mentioned by him as he writes them: these characters include members of his family and, most notably, Satan, who he believes is speaking to him while he is delusional in rehab.
"Strangler Bob" is a story in which the main character, Dink, is in prison for stealing and wrecking a car. His cellmate is named "Strangler Bob" because he strangled his wife. Dundun and B. D. are two other inmates around Dink's age, and the three of them form what they call the "Three Musketeers."
"Triumph over the Grave" is a story in which the narrator is an author who tends to dying people—the story specifically focuses on two such instances. The narrator took care of a man named Darcy Miller who hallucinated before learning that his lung cancer has spread to his brain, later killing him. He also tended to an elderly man named Link who passed away under his care. Link had a wife with Alzheimer's.
"Doppelgänger, Poltergeist," the final story, focuses on a man named Kevin Harrington and a professor and poet named Mark Ahearn. They relate over poetry and the classes that Kevin is taking, but Mark later reveals an obsession with Elvis and later has some disturbing thoughts and actions—both about Kevin and about Elvis.
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