We Find Ourselves in Moontown

Jay Gummerman, Author, Lee Goerman, Editor Alfred A. Knopf $16.95 (174p) ISBN 978-0-394-57459-2
Showing himself to be a highly gifted writer in this first collection of short stories, Gummerman demonstrates a special understanding of the confused adolescent boys and young men who inhabit the suburbs and exurbs of the American Northwest. Dopers, misfits, the lovelorn--the characters all deal with some form of impending sexual or physical violence. In ``The Painter,'' a yuppie fired from his job for stealing a valuable painting, an impressionistic rendering of Jello-O salad, is visited by a streetwise teenager who talks her way into his house, his bed and his heart. ``Russell's Honor'' is a chilling tale of a bigamist who walks away from a minimal security prison and winds up at his unstable, vengeful sister's house. In the gothic ``A Minor Forest,'' a hippie dope dealer joins an illegal business venture to cut down Christmas trees, and the trip takes on a bizarre, surrealistic cast when the car he's riding in crashes and he sees the world in a new way. In almost every story, the characters' humorous, offhand responses to events mask a deep-seated sadness about the narrowing of life's possibilities (``Reality sucks,'' one character says) and the inevitability of disappointment, even despair. While the stories are technically perfect, however, they lack heart; it's almost as if Gummerman is afraid to embrace his characters, to engage in an emotional response. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 02/27/1989
Release date: 03/01/1989
Paperback - 174 pages - 978-0-679-72430-8
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