Max Lakeman and the Beautiful Stranger

Jon Cohen, Author Warner Books $16.45 (210p) ISBN 978-0-446-51533-7
Cohen's first novel, a nice little fable for our time, is a situation comedy in print. Having lived all his life in a small town near Philadelphia, flaky Max Lakeman cannot believe his good fortune. He is married to Nelly, a bantering hospital nurse, is the father of button-cute Ben and Nora, the son of wonderfully intact parents, retired railroad conductor Emmett and stereotypically critical Doris. Max adores mowing lawns, a job which, in this story's never-never land, allows him weeks off during spring and summer. Max embellishes the humdrum with dreams of ogres in the night, his hero JFK by day, and finally the divine Mrs. Zeno who appears first in a rhododendron bush at dusk, then as Venus on the half shell at sea, and finally, as a new customer with time for afternoon delights to which Max succumbs, to his peril. This sentimental and classically moral fiction, already optioned for a movie, seems a throwback designed by Frank Capra as a vehicle for young Jimmy Stewart. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1990
Release date: 01/01/1990
Hardcover - 318 pages - 978-1-56054-028-1
Mass Market Paperbound - 978-0-446-36061-6
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