Underdog

Michael Z. Lewin, Author Mysterious Press $18.95 (260p) ISBN 978-0-89296-440-6
Midway through this hilarious tale, the narrator, a short, inventive homeless man named Jan Moro, tells how two men chased him from his hut at the state fairgrounds in Indianapolis: ``One of them only has seven toes and he works for a guy who microwaves puppies to death and trains dogs to fight pigs.'' Although he has no street address, Jan considers himself an entrepreneur, as distinguished from ``homeless riffraff.'' He keeps himself presentable, hangs out in hotel lobbies, believes loitering in bus stations to be great spectator sport and has hidey-holes all around town, one with a gun and three bullets that he won in a poker game. The appealing and unusual hero has a steady stream of ``great ideas'' like a ``slow-release deodorant'' for clothes instead of the body. How Jan, aka Clarence Starch Jr., gets tangled up in the dog-and-hog business, how he strikes up an acquaintance with Billy Cigar, the desperado who owns the Linger Longer Lounge, and how he attempts to con the police who pay him to be a snitch add up to a story that will keep readers in stitches. This could (should) be the title that brings Lewin ( Called by a Panther ) a long-deserved larger audence. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 11/01/1993
Release date: 11/01/1993
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