Raised by Puppets, Only to Be Killed by Research

Andrei Codrescu, Author
Andrei Codrescu, Author Addison Wesley Publishing Company $17 (198p) ISBN 978-0-201-12183-4
Reviewed on: 06/01/1989
Release date: 06/01/1989
Codrescu, author of 22 books of poetry, fiction, essays and memoirs, is a critic-at-large for National Public Radio. Assembled here are his NPR pieces, freestyle columns in which, swimming gleefully against the mainstream, he sounds off--``I believe in strife''--on whatever comes to mind. In ``The Lord's Corporations,'' Codrescu's subject is television evangelists, and in ``Get Your Pravda : Special Opium Issue!'' it is free speech and the impact of fascism on individual vision. He also editorializes on surrogate mothers, Kansas, doing the twist and literary rejection. This native Transylvanian's joyful irreverence for the banalities of American culture can meander frivolously to a halt for lack of a burning issue, but when writing about a topic vitally interesting to him, Codrescu's pitch is perfect and his fanciful wit flawlessly cutting. A sterner editorial hand could have shaped a stronger collection; nevertheless, Codrescu's bracing ``alternative'' complaints about shopping malls (``my hell''), Greyhound bus trips and ``yuppie vertigo'' often royally fulfill his stance that ``things are not perfect.'' (June)
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