A New Ice Age

Robert Edric, Author A. Deutsch $18.95 (148p) ISBN 978-0-233-97895-6
Edric's (Winter Garden) short second novel leaves us wondering whether his account of hopeless, alienated lives that fall victim to ""progress'' is an allegory for the fate of all of us. While a small London area is flattened to make way for a redevelopment project, the seedy lodgers in Mrs. D.'s ramshackle house stand firm only because they cannot face the shock of moving. Becoming survivors by slothful default, their insistence on fantasy over reality is accentuated through the murderous dreams of the narrator, and his deliberate inability to distinguish between the real and imaginary nightmares in his life. The dichotomy between the fantasies of Mrs. D. and her lodgers and their squalid circumstances is emphasized by a lurid billboard advertisement erected in an empty lot across the way, featuring bikini-clad models. Surrounded on all sides by decay, rubble, heavy machinery and hobos, the billboard itself is soon demolished, making way for further ``progress.'' Parallel to the impotence of the characters and their submersion in a past that is itself a fantasy of memory, we have the narrator's account of his doomed marriage a decade before. If a little obscure in its theme, this well-written book flashes with dry, ironic humor. (December)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1986
Release date: 01/01/1986
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