Slam

Lewis Shiner, Author Doubleday Books $18.95 (233p) ISBN 978-0-385-26683-3
A bisexual, escaped convict who's a Phil Donahue fan, 23 cats and a heavy-metal groupie who almost strangled on her umbilical cord at birth are just a fraction of the vivid, extremely oddball characters populating Shiner's ( Deserted Cities of the Heart ) third madcap novel. The hero, however, is Dave, a 39-year-old ex-hippie just released from prison, where he'd been sent for not satisfying his IRS obligations. To satisfy the terms of his parole, Dave, now working as caretaker of a large beachhouse near Galveston, Tex., must follow to the letter the late owner's eccentric will. This means keeping her home exactly the same as it was when she died (not a picture frame can be moved) and making sure none of her felines escapes the premises. This difficult task takes on Sisyphean proportions when Dave is assailed by a leader of a UFO movement and an aging Mamie Van Doren look-alike, both trying to break the will. The only ways Dave can achieve peace of mind are by having sex with the aforementioned groupie, by visiting Fonthill, an estate where everything including the chairs and tables are made from concrete, and by delving into the Zen of skateboarding. No other writer, with the exception of Jerome Charyn, could have made a cogent world out of these disparate entities and a wild group of supporting players which includes cocaine dealers, a teenage runaway, a Christ-mongering probation officer and a lawyer who hates lawyers. An unqualified delight. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 06/05/1990
Release date: 06/01/1990
Paperback - 256 pages - 978-1-888869-28-6
Paperback - 176 pages - 978-1-59606-419-5
Paperback - 978-0-553-35449-2
Paperback - 240 pages - 978-0-312-26777-3
Compact Disc - 978-1-4829-3253-9
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