King of the World

Merrill Joan Gerber, Author
Merrill Joan Gerber, Author Pushcart Press $18.95 (276p) ISBN 978-0-916366-60-5
Reviewed on: 11/28/1989
Release date: 11/01/1989
A mock coronation opens this brilliant novel about the harrowing but erotically charged 15-year marriage of fluttery Ginny and seductive, psychotic Michael Fisher, who dubs Ginny ``Queen of the World'' with a broken starfish, then drowns her dog on a rowboat trip. Lusting for control, Michael abuses Ginny and their adopted baby while claiming to love them, and squanders the family goods on get-rich schemes. The novel, set in California, exquisitely delineates the pair's mutual dependency: Ginny, with a malformed spine, insecure and fixated on a man who outrages the staid respectability of her Jewish parents; Michael, with his boiling sexuality and criminal behavior, gradually subsumed by madness and self-pity. Ginny's efforts to disentangle herself bring her to offbeat therapist Annie, then a job-training program and a shelter for battered women. Images of water--fishing, floating and drowning--converge in the couple's turbulent waterbed, which Michael finally slashes and nails to the bedroom wall. This newest novel by seasoned fiction writer Gerber ( Honeymoon ) won Pushcart's eighth annual Editors' Book Award. ( Jan.)
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