BT-Man in the Monkey

Oswaldo Franca Junior, Author Ballantine Books $4.95 (102p) ISBN 978-0-345-32682-9
Alfonso, a mechanic and matter-of-fact hero in a world so drab it's comical, buys a garage from two friends who have sold to him because ""the place was out of control.'' Alfonso attempts to bring order to the business but is thwarted, and his personal life is similarly unruly. He has various feckless love affairs, including one with a divorcee, Maria da Paz, whose ``chubby arms . . . wet and shiny in the sun'' he finds attractive. Miscomprehension of the people most important to him plagues Alfonso: he digs a backyard cistern to make Maria's life easier, but later, while trying to catch her daughter and give her an undeserved beating, Maria falls into the cistern. Other colorful characters in this book include Nazaro, who solves the problem of a stinking privy by pouring gasoline down the hole and igniting italong with Joe Gullet, a drunken painter. The author uses a gutty prose whose deadpan restraint emphasizes nobility of courage in the face of adversity and chaos. (December)
Reviewed on: 10/28/1986
Release date: 11/01/1986
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