Whirlaway

Robert Wintner, Author Edward R Smallwood $20 (280p) ISBN 978-1-881334-30-9
Adrift somewhere amidst this seemingly horizonless ocean of alcohol, drugs and unwashed sex is a minor adventure about two alcoholic losers who scheme to get rich in tourist-glutted Hawaii. Narrator Martin and self-styled sailor Jack con a high-rolling, cocaine-addicted San Francisco brain surgeon into buying Whirlaway, a 52-foot racing yacht, and joining them in a yacht-chartering operation that takes them throughout the Hawaiian islands. Impaired by a herky-jerky prose style that he apparently intends to pass for hip, first-novelist Wintner (Snorkel Bob's Reality Guide to Hawaii) fails to evoke any real sense of the territory; moreover, his pages are overpopulated with airhead females whose main mission in life seems to be to relieve the potentially debilitating sexual tensions of an ill-assorted cast of perverted male wharf rats. Vivid passages depicting harrowing open-sea crossings help matters somewhat, as do some interesting, albeit overdetailed, descriptions of arduous boat repairs-but not even the dead-on cameos of mainsider ``normals'' can offset the heroes' vacuous musings about cosmic meaning and their apparently unquenchable yearning for the sleaziest that money can buy. Author tour. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 07/04/1994
Release date: 07/01/1994
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