Sunday's Child

Edward Phillips, Author St. Martin's Press $15.95 (240p) ISBN 978-0-312-01097-3
Geoffry Chadwick is 50, Canadian, single, gay and, after a brief struggle with a hustler who tries to shake him down, a murderer. Herein lies the device for this macabre, funny, if somewhat meandering, first novel, originally published in Canada in 1981. Although Geoffry must dispose of the bodywhich he does by sawing it into pieces and then dropping off the sections around town at nightthe trauma of the murder affords him the opportunity to reminisce and ruminate: on the recent termination of his affair with a history teacher; on the not-so-recent deaths of his wife and daughter; on the alcoholism of his mother; on growing old; on being gay. The visit of a nephew and the New Year's festivities only serve to intensify his thoughts. Although Chadwick is abrasively disdainful early on, he is fascinating when he loosens up. Phillips keeps the reader hopping with throwaway quotations from Donne and scatalogical references and puns. Unfortunately, the central scenes concerning the disposal of the body are neither funny nor horrifying but simply tedious, an annoying series of errands Chadwick must run. Nevertheless, there is much to commend this otherwise witty, mordant work. (September 21)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1987
Release date: 01/01/1987
Paperback - 978-0-312-02294-5
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