The Caveman's Valentine

George Dawes Green, Author Warner Books $19.95 (323p) ISBN 978-0-446-51722-5
In this remarkable first novel, the caveman is Romulus Ledbetter, a Juilliard graduate, husband and father, former mental patient and current resident of a cave in Manhattan's Inwood Park. His valentine is the naked body of Scotty Gales, a homeless former photographer's model. The police say Gales simply froze to death, but Romulus knows that he was killed by agents of the evil Cornelius Gould Stuyvesant, who rules the world from his offices in the Chrysler Building. Sometimes aided--and sometimes humored--by everyone from his daughter Lulu (a police officer) to people he meets on the street, Romulus tracks Scotty's murderer, doggedly following his twisted vision of reality into a world of money and violence where things and people are never what they seem. Although Green's plotting is solid, the narrative draws its power from the superbly realized protagonist. Romulus is that rarity, a truly original character whose fits and rantings retain a dangerous edge and never become lovable tics. Green makes a wonderful debut with this gripping, well-written portrait of modern dislocation and homelessness--although Romulus would object to the latter term: he has a home; it just happens to be in a cave. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 01/03/1994
Release date: 01/01/1994
Genre: Fiction
Ebook - 978-0-446-40698-7
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Peanut Press/Palm Reader - 978-0-7595-4209-9
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Video, VHS Format - 978-0-7832-5947-5
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