Rootie Kazootie

Lawrence Naumoff, Author Farrar Straus Giroux $18.95 (282p) ISBN 978-0-374-25218-2
Naumoff's ( The Night of the Weeping Women ) second novel, the story of a marriage that goes to pieces, contains too many unresolved and even undetermined issues. The protagonists, zany Caroline and her stolid husband Richard, are too opaque and unknowable for readers to develop any sustained sympathy or feeling for them. Richard begins an affair with Cynthia, separated from her husband, who keeps finding projects that Richard, a carpenter, can build or repair in her comfortable North Carolina home. We never understand Richard's motivations, however, or even what he really thinks he's doing. Caroline becomes enraged and drives a tractor into Cynthia's door, but this fury fails to charm or terrify us. Surprise pregnancies help the book stumble toward a conclusion, with a detour for a Mystical Moment that will leave readers yawning. While no doubt intended as satire of the Human Condition, Naumoff's novel, despite some good writing, is an unfortunate example of fiction delivered into print too soon; it has arrived stillborn. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 01/30/1990
Release date: 02/01/1990
Mass Market Paperbound - 978-0-8041-0745-7
Paperback - 288 pages - 978-0-374-52984-0
Paperback - 300 pages - 978-0-15-600336-0
Open Ebook - 282 pages - 978-1-4299-3337-7
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