Krazy Kat

Jay Cantor, Author Alfred A. Knopf $16.95 (245p) ISBN 978-0-394-55025-1
After 40 years' absence, Krazy Kat and her cartoon cronies, last seen in George Herriman's famous comic strip, reappear full-blown in this brilliant and powerful consideration of some very current anxieties. Subtitled ""A Novel in Five Panels,'' it is an imaginative tour de force. Krazy was picnicking with her beloved Ignatz Mouse at Alamagordo the day the atom bomb was tested. Witnessing such destructive power shook the Kat's hitherto unshakable innocence; she spiraled into depression and retirement. How could she work when she was no longer even sure that the bricks lobbed daily at her noggin by her mouse were proofs of his love? But if Krazy doesn't work, neither can Offisa Pup, Beau Koo Jack, Mrs. Mice or the other denizens of Coconino County; Ignatz mobilizes all of them in the effort to get their Kat performing again. With themes of love and work in place, it's no surprise that Ignatz first tries the talking cure with Kata problem in a place where neither sex nor death is known. Subsequent attempts to straighten out Krazy are politicala Patty Hearst-type kidnapping/brainwashingand culturala scheme to put them all in the movies. What finally does reconcile Krazy and Ignatz in love and work is a fusion of fantasy and reality that rounds out the metaphor for growing up that Cantor, who also wrote The Death of Che Guevara, has uncovered in Herriman's comic characters. With quirky wordplay, telling misspellings and, finally, plenty of sex and a death, his novel, perhaps slightly uneven and a shade overlong, is unfailingly intelligent, fully felt and tremendously moving. (January 18)
Reviewed on: 12/01/1987
Release date: 12/01/1987
Paperback - 245 pages - 978-0-02-042081-1
Paperback - 272 pages - 978-0-375-71382-8
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