Easter Weekend

David Bottoms, Author Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH) $18.95 (198p) ISBN 978-0-395-51528-0
Poet ( Shooting Rats at the Bibb Country Dump ) and novelist ( Any Cold Jordan ) Bottoms has written a quiet, economical novel about a botched amateur kidnapping in a small Georgia town. Connie Holtzclaw, a failed boxer of limited intelligence, is enlisted by his brother Carl in a plan to kidnap a rich college student and hold him for ransom. They abduct the young man only to find their scheme foiled by a local gangster attempting to collect on one of Carl's bad gambling debts. Both Carl and the gangster have sadistic inclinations that complicate the plot; the scenes of graphic violence are among the most vivid in the book, which otherwise alternates between somewhat platitudinal dialogues and quietly impressive prose passages. Connie's troubled relationship with his brother is sensitively rendered, as are his wistful yearnings for his girlfriend Rita, a waitress at the local Waffle Shop. Using realistic details to convey the monotony of life in a decaying community, Bottoms moves the narrative determinedly but sometimes ploddingly along; yet the conclusion, with its seemingly requisite act of violence, is taut and shocking. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 01/30/1990
Release date: 02/01/1990
Paperback - 978-0-671-73302-5
Paperback - 216 pages - 978-0-8071-2277-8
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