Frank Moorhouse, Author Houghton Mifflin Harcourt P $16.95 (175p) ISBN 978-0-15-132695-2
The author of Days of Wine and Rage here presents a roving, dissatisfied man entering middle age in a house-of-mirrors portrait: fragmentary and multifaceted. Sean, a hard-drinking, hard-living Australian, has just turned 40; the other half of the title refers to a precocious schoolgirl who is one of his many liaisons. The most important of the other women who drift into and out of his life include his ex-wife Robyn, now unflinching in the face of cancer; Belle, Sean's fellow sexual adventurer; and Edith, an aging iconoclast whom Sean encounters in Vienna and Israel. Moorhouse's narrative is as peripatetic as his hero; the novel--really a series of sketches--trots casually through space and time. One chapter pauses to examine Robyn's girlhood love letters; another offers a fascinating disquisition on what sudden sobriety feels like to a man who has lived on 20 drinks a day. The results are, probably inevitably, uneven; despite the author's always intelligent prose, Sean remains one step beyond his reach. (June)
Reviewed on: 06/01/1989
Release date: 06/01/1989
Genre: Fiction
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