Strange Angels

Kathe Koja, Author
Kathe Koja, Author Delacorte Press $19.95 (277p) ISBN 978-0-385-30892-2
Reviewed on: 04/04/1994
Release date: 04/01/1994
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Writing with a pretentious, almost adolescent sensibility and a bad case of logorrhea, Koja ( Bad Brains ) whines unremittingly in a single-pitched, overwrought stream of consciousness that will probably alienate most readers. The story concerns out-of-work Pennsylvania photographer Grant Cotto and his narcissistic infatuation with Robin, a certified schizophrenic who is being treated by Cotto's therapist girlfriend. Cotto thinks his own anguished sense of futility will be remedied if he can partake of the startling visions Robin expresses in his artwork, so he embarks on a self-serving plan to wean the deeply troubled patient from doctors, therapists and medication, and to unite with him spiritually in a quest for a new perspective on life. At the high point of his experiments, Cotto becomes convinced that Robin is being transformed into an angel and will soon disclose rare and wonderful insights. When Robin goes totally mad instead and starves himself to death, Cotto's conscience prickles, but his greater sorrow is over having missed the revelations promised by Robin's dementia. Though Koja's premise is interesting enough, her characters are one-dimensional monomaniacs engaged in a disturbingly simple-minded, voyeuristic search for altered states in bona fide pathology. (May)
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