Earily from the Dance

David Payne, Author Doubleday Books $18.95 (512p) ISBN 978-0-385-26417-4
There are so many passages of fluent, graceful writing and sensitive insights in this second novel by the author of Confessions of a Taoist on Wall Street , that some readers may be willing to forgive its vastly overwritten length. Th e story of a young man's coming-of-agestet hyphens per Websters as he suffers through a love triangle is both exasperating--self-indulgent, cliched and sentimental--and satisfying; Payne is a natural raconteur with a pitch-perfect ear and a flair for evocative description. Thirteen years ago, when all the principals were 18, Adam Jenrette, called A., and Jane McCrae were horrified when A.'s best friend and Jane's former lover, Cary Kinlaw, committed suicide after learning that the two had betrayed him. Though A. went on to New York to achieve fame as an artist (painting has played such a small part in his life as revealed in flashback, we don't believe in his career for a minute), inner demons relating to his mother's death, his father's humiliation, and his guilt about Cary, cause a near breakdown. He returns home to Killdeer, N.C., where he again encounters Jane and continues his downward slide, helped by large quantities of cocaine. When he isn't writing endless paragraphs of adolescent conversation full of raunchy language, related in ``and I said, and he said'' style, Payne creates memorable characters and puts some interesting spins on his story. Not as capable as Frank Conroy, to whom he will be compared, Payne may someday give him a run for the money. Literary Guild main selection; major ad/promo; author tour. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 08/01/1989
Release date: 08/01/1989
Mass Market Paperbound - 978-0-345-36871-3
Paperback - 386 pages - 978-0-345-41025-2
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