In a Hotel Garden

Gabriel Joaipovici, Author, Gabriel Josipovici, Author
Gabriel Joaipovici, Author, Gabriel Josipovici, Author New Directions Publishing Corporation $9.95 (148p) ISBN 978-0-8112-1291-5
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While it may be more accessible than others of Josipovici's novels (The Inventory, Words, The Echo Chamber), In a Hotel Garden is not more enjoyable. There's nothing to sink your teeth into: the story's aimless; the characters, caricatured; the images, indistinct and fleeting. In contemporary Putney Heath, Ben is the perpetual odd man out, hanging around the kitchen of his friends Rick and Fran. While walking the dog or helping to prepare salads, Ben recalls a vacation to the Dolomites that probably doomed his relationship with Sand, his girlfriend at the time, but it opened up the possibility of a new one with tediously vague Liliane. ``Lily'' has just been to Siena looking for a garden that had some import to her grandmother, a Jewish woman from Constantinople, and that Lily has invested with the power to make her understand herself and the Holocaust. It's a lot to pin on a garden. It's also more than this novel can bear. Josipovici works mostly with dialogue; and while interruptions, cross-purposes, daily disposable chatter, verbal tics and the like lend verisimilitude onstage, they're like iced molasses on this narrative. (May)
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