Last Last Chance

Fiona Maazel, Author
Fiona Maazel, Author . Farrar, Straus & Giroux $25 (337p) ISBN 978-0-374-18385-1
Paperback - 337 pages - 978-0-312-42831-0
Open Ebook - 352 pages - 978-1-4299-4159-4
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A sprawling debut with an alternately absurdist and sardonic tone, Maazel’s debut follows the tribulations of Lucy, a young drug addict who works at a New York City kosher chicken plant. Lucy’s father was a Centers for Disease Control bigwig who’s recently committed suicide, presumably due to fallout from his perceived role in an outbreak of plague that is spreading across America. Her mother, Isifrid, is a crack-addled gazillionaire, while grandmother Agneth talks incessantly of reincarnation, and younger half-sister Hannah harbors a huge obsession with disease. As the novel opens, Lucy sets off with her alcoholic, over-50 co-worker, Stanley, to attend the wedding of her best friend, Kam—who is marrying Eric, whom Lucy met first and fell in love with. After some hijinks, Lucy heads to a rehab facility in Texas. Over the course of Lucy’s wild road trip, Maazel, daughter of conductor Loren, delivers some electric writing: the novel is brimming with wit, ideas and delightfully screwball humor. But the whimsy undermines the story, especially on the abundant substance abuse material. The novel’s earnest, surprising conclusion feels out of sync with the zingy, existential banter of its core. (Mar.)

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