What Should We Do about Davey?
The author of Body Language suggests his own adolescent-era fantasies about body language in this sophomoric first novel about a Jewish teenager growing up in Manhattan's Washington Heights section during the '30s. David Quinn, on the surface at least, is a youth out of step with his peers. He loses his delivery jobs with frequency. He commits so many minor infractions in French class that he is sentenced to virtually permanent detention. Subliminally, though, he is the epitome of every 16-year-old boy's fantasies: a lanky blond who gets seduced by a married woman, a nurse and even the librarians at the branch where he had thought he had finally found a suitable job. So what to do about Davey the loser? Send him off to summer camp, where he can achieve maturity, aplomb and respect as a waiterin the company of of a bunch of pretentious, foul-mouthed squirts. Fast occasionally makes Davey agreeable and his father, a widower, a wise and sympathetic character. More often, though, he seems to be spinning Davey's sexual fantasies merely for their prurient appeal. (March)