Coyote

Peter Gadol, Author
Peter Gadol, Author Crown Publishers $18.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-517-57549-9
Reviewed on: 05/01/1990
Release date: 05/01/1990
First novelist Gadol sets his fantastical romantic adventure in a southwestern desert--quickly establishing a labored metaphor for the difficulty of making love flourish and grow. His young hero and narrator, orphaned Coyote Gato, guides pilgrims to a local ashram, informing them of the local lore (some of which he makes up). Agreeing to help Madeleine Nash, an investigative reporter interested in mysterious Guru B, the reclusive head of the ashram, Gato accompanies her into the community and begins to discover its secrets, which include group sex, violence, misguided finances and a purloined meteorite. Outside the ashram, meanwhile, Gato learns that his old friend Frog is Madeleine's former lover, and that both are related to Gato's former lover James (Gato is in his own words ``sexually ambidextrous''). Coyote's complex but strangely uncompelling story reaches its explosive climax in a cartoonish twist. While there's an openness and freshness to Gadol's tone, particularly in his level-headed appreciation of individual sexualities, the simplicity and innocence of his views gradually begin to feel both disingenuous and naive. Likewise, though youthfully exuberant and eager to please, his story fails to charm or convince. (June)
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