Banana Cat

Christopher Hood, Author Secker & Warburg $0 (242p) ISBN 978-0-436-20089-2
Set in Dylan Thomas's home town of Swansea, Hood's novel is packed with humor and finely drawn charactersexemplified by a very funny scene in an Indian restaurant; but there are also sharp perceptions that raise this story from the purely comic. The narrator, George, a good-natured probation officer bemused with life, gossips away with the incisive wit of a male Nora Ephron. Apart from dealing with his ""partly ex-wife'' Alice, George has also to contend with Dugdale, a con-man who is one of his charges and has made fraud an art form. Dugdale convinces Holloway, a visiting American professor of English, that a pastiche of a Dylan Thomas poem that he, George and an artist friend composed during a drunken evening is a previously undiscovered, genuine work by Thomas. George doesn't want Dugdale to get into any more trouble, but he can't allow Holloway to be suckered, either. What is George to do? The climax neatly ties together all the loose ends and manages to be unpredictable. The author of The Other Side of the Mountain illuminates human nature and makes us laugh aloud at the same time. (July)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1985
Release date: 01/01/1985
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