Time Capsule

Mitch Berman, Author
Mitch Berman, Author Putnam Publishing Group $18.95 (295p) ISBN 978-0-399-13197-4
Reviewed on: 02/01/1987
Release date: 02/01/1987
Among the many post-Holocaust novels, a subgenre has emerged on the theme of Huck Finn after the apocalypse. First novelist Berman's boy on a raft is Max Debris, a young white jazz saxophone player who stays alive thanks to Charles Dewey, alias Wolf, a black civil engineer. While nuclear winter sets in and the few survivors keep busy shooting each other, Wolf follows a private agenda on their cross-country trek, stopping at every 7-Eleven store to look for signs of the long-lost brother he's sure is still alive. As in Twain, the two move from civilization to wilderness and back, unhappy with each. Berman's humorous, ironic take on his serious subject recalls Richard Brautigan and Donald Barthelme as he compares the two wanderers to hapless 19th century pioneers and envisions a future demagogue whose sermons take their texts from Honeymooners episodes. Amusing and inventive if somewhat relentless in its wisecracking. (February 18)
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