Dream of the Wolf

Scott Bradfield, Author Alfred A. Knopf $19 (239p) ISBN 978-0-394-58213-9
``I don't think you can ever get to know me really well unless you understand I happen to be a very mind-oriented sort of person,'' proclaims a character in one of 13 stories collected here. The life of the mind, a rather moribund life played out in Southern California, is the book's general province. And while the bizarre predicaments of characters suggest a wayward mission to rewrite Kafka, Bradfield ( The History of Luminous Motion ) is no Kafka: the idiosyncratic ratiocinations of his people don't indicate a serious contest between Man and Fate, and since his way with physical description is impatient and jaundiced (his idea of supplying local color is to rattle off brand names), our attention frequently struggles in a vacuum. In the title story, a man dreams that he is one of various subspecies of wolf, alienating family, boss and the reader; neither mainstream nor fringe therapists provide a cure. ``Dazzle,'' an episode from the life of a down-at-the-heels intellectual who happens to be a dog, is the most graceful and appealing (if somewhat fey) offering. Other stories are populated by a limited stock of types: sophomoric husbands, well-meaning wives, and earnest but vapid cultists and psychological derelicts of both sexes. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 10/31/1990
Release date: 11/01/1990
Paperback - 239 pages - 978-0-679-73638-7
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