Red Line

Charles Bowden, Author W. W. Norton & Company $16.95 (202p) ISBN 978-0-393-02759-4
The Southwest as portrayed in this Kerouac-esque odyssey betokening the death of the American frontier spirit is a landscape of broken dreams, violence, uprooted lives and fallen idols. Bowden ( Mezcal ), joined by a retired narcotics cop, sets out to investigate the murder of a Mexican drug dealer/hit-man outside Tucson. His obsessive, detective-like quest seems at least partly an evasion of personal problems--he has just fathered a baby out of wedlock. We meet real estate developers, sullen Indians, assorted castoffs, a Vietnam vet, a rogue archeologist and, through historical flashbacks, gold-crazed '49ers. Miles distant from tourist-poster images of the Sunbelt, this vista of narrow greed, diminished expectations and despoilation of nature sizzles with the harsh, unrelenting glare of a hyperrealist painting. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 10/01/1989
Release date: 10/01/1989
Paperback - 208 pages - 978-0-14-014548-9
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