Gravity: Titled Perspectives on Rocket Ships, Roller Coasters, Earthquakes, and Angel Food

Joseph Lanza, Author Picador USA $22 (240p) ISBN 978-0-312-15537-7
In a bizarre exploration of popular culture, Lanza (The Cocktail) invites readers on a bungee-cord ride through the second half of the 20th century. Using the theme of gravity, he loosely connects views so idiosyncratic that even the quirks have quirks. Scientific experts will find flaws in his interpretations of nature's fundamental forces, and many other readers will find the author's scattershot approach disconcerting or worse; but Lanza doesn't appear to care. He seems to see his true audience as those readers who share his penchant for the weird and outrageous. They will revel in his discussion of male and female rollercoasters, gravity-obsessed people, gravity in King Kong and other cinematic classics, Salvador Dali, Liberace, brassieres, Las Vegas and an eclectic array of eccentricities and eccentrics. The epilogue, entitled ""Angel Food Futurism,"" suggests that Lanza actually has a point to make, but likely few will grasp it--or care. A neutral reaction to this book is not an option. It will leave readers either gasping for more or wondering why they bothered to pick it up. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 04/03/2000
Release date: 04/01/2000
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