Technicolor Pulp

Arty Nelson, Author Warner Books $18.95 (204p) ISBN 978-0-446-51819-2
At the opening of this self-styled ``Slacker'' novel, the narrator, a 26-year-old waste case named Jimi (as in Hendrix, of course) tells us, ``All I got is this story. A story of drifting. It's not my story. I'm just a small piece of it.'' Not quite. The novel recounts a few months in Jimi's craven life. His girlfriend leaves him after he practically rapes her; he feels betrayed somehow and goes to London where he mooches off his buddy Doobe in an orgy of booze and drugs and denial. His father disowns him, as does his wealthy godfather; a couple of women take an interest in him, but no relationship lasts more than a night or means more to him than a four-letter word. One of the short chapters in this distasteful novel is devoted to Jimi on the toilet; another to his upset stomach during a case of food poisoning. The book's title, in fact, is a play on the euphemism for vomiting: ``technicolor yawn.'' Jimi is a foul-mouthed, ill-tempered misogynist who alienates everyone he comes in contact with-the only dose of humanity he's allowed is to muse about a brother who killed himself a couple of years back. The narrative, too, is underdone, having no development to speak of and an entirely ad-hoc resolution. The writing is lackluster and dismayingly un-visual. The only encouraging thing about this first novel is that Nelson has an edgy sense of humor, which almost redeems a small multitude of sins. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 03/01/1999
Release date: 03/01/1999
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