Loose Jam

Wayne Wilson, Author Delacorte Press $17.95 (263p) ISBN 978-0-385-29788-2
Henry Brown has just barely recovered from his drug-laced combat experience in Vietnam. No longer the wild man, he's got a small job, a little money in the bank, a rented house in the hills above Morro Bay, Calif., and Martha, a woman he truly loves. Then his old buddy Miles Duckworth, jazz musician extraordinaire, turns up on the doorstep--dissipated as ever, and still stumping around on the crutches he's had since his release from the VA hospital. Miles, running from another 'Nam acquaintance out for revenge, completely disrupts Henry's existence, trashing his house, buddying up to Martha and asking Henry what he has made of himself. To Miles, Henry looks fat, suburban and depressed--all the things he'd once forsworn. Flashing between the Vietnam war and the present, this debut novel features colorful, seedy settings and a strong narrative pull, but Wilson's jazzy style is uneven--pungent and impressive one moment, trite and amateurish the next. Often difficult to follow, this is nevertheless an earnest and strongly felt effort. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1990
Release date: 01/01/1990
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