Laszlo's Millions

Jon Elkon, Author Trafalgar Square Publishing $23.95 (288p) ISBN 978-0-233-98640-1
Elkon's sly, riotous romp is so busy being a farce, a political thriller, a coming-of-age novel and a satire of the '60s counterculture that it runs out of steam about halfway through. Tom Bloch, a South African hippie, student activist and protagonist of Elkon's first novel, Umfaan's Heroes , arrives in London penniless with his new bride, Mona, who is mentally disturbed after taking an overdose of LSD. When Tom's grandmother Hazel drops dead upon learning that she has inherited millions from a long-ago lover, a Hungarian count afflicted with ``Rampant Priapism,'' Tom stands to inherit her fortune if he proves himself fit and responsible in the nine months before his 21st birthday in 1970. Although he gets a respectable job to revamp his image, things go awry: Mona, who may be the person murdering his friends, abandons him; Julia, Tom's lesbian roommate and sometime lover, apparently dies in a suicide pact; and Tom is recruited by South Africa's Secret Service to illegally sell plutonium to Rhodesia, a scheme he intends to expose. Allergic to hypocrisy and pretense, Elkon takes deadly satiric aim at hippiedom, academia, apartheid, obtuse parents and preening adolescents through most of this in a zany lark of a novel. (Dec.)
Reviewed on: 11/30/1992
Release date: 12/01/1992
Paperback - 300 pages - 978-1-5237-0699-0
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