Asylum for Nightface

Bruce Brooks, Author
Bruce Brooks, Author Laura Geringer Book $13.95 (144p) ISBN 978-0-06-027060-5
Reviewed on: 06/03/1996
Release date: 06/01/1996
Library Binding - 978-0-06-027061-2
Paperback - 160 pages - 978-0-06-447214-2
Prebound-Other - 978-0-606-17459-6
Prebound-Sewn - 978-0-613-21141-3
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More surreal then Brooks's What Hearts?, this philosophical novel does not court mass appeal. Initially, readers may have trouble making connections between the 14-year-old narrator's rambling thoughts about chessboard patterns, images of Christ and comic book collectibles. Those willing to follow the author's winding path, however, will find the nonsequiturs do eventually mesh as the central conflict emerges. The crux of the matter: the sudden transformation of the main character's radical, hash-smoking parents, who undergo a spiritual awakening during a vacation in Jamaica. Mesmerized (or brainwashed) by a charismatic minister, they return home seeking forgiveness from their straight-laced son, Zimmerman. If Zimmerman is skeptical of his parents' overflow of love and admiration, he is downright flabbergasted by their intention to publicly proclaim him a ""living saint."" Some readers may be put off by the author's satirical depiction of born-again Christians, but others will applaud his attempt to challenge fundamentalism and conventional morality. Ages 12-up. (June)
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