Otis, on the Occasion of His Foray Into the Wilderness of Civilization

Paul Limbert Allman, Author St. Martin's Press $20.95 (275p) ISBN 978-0-312-10519-8
This unusual and charming first novel is a tall tale, recounting the adventures of Otis Gully, a naive lad who vows to ``plug up'' the Mississippi River because it is ruining his father's rain-barrel business in Braggadocio, Mo. He falls in with the Holy Habitat, a bunch of religious fanatics who convince him that he needs their help to complete his mission and, in order to win it, must go to wicked New York and find their lost goddess. Within seconds of arriving in the big city, Gully's coat is stolen (the thief is subsequently murdered by villains seeking Otis) and, under the impression he's hailing a taxi, he stumbles into a vehicle owned by Ciro Bellafiga's Therapeutic Driving University--which leads to a weekend of wild sex with student-driver Mary. After that, things get really strange. Posing as a news cameraman, Otis nearly gets killed by a bomb accidentally detonated by the AntiNice cult. His distraught father, believing him dead, comes to New York and winds up sitting on a traffic island in a barrel full of dimes. All paths eventually lead to a woman named Hank, whose sneeze can restore lost youth to those hit by its spray. Impossible to summarize or explain, this first novel is Some Tale Indeed. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 04/04/1994
Release date: 04/01/1994
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