Phases of Harry Moon

Thomas Sullivan, Author Dutton Books $18.95 (275p) ISBN 978-0-525-24656-5
Set in the hamlet of Chewbagin, Vt., this mordant, wisecracking first novel concerns the four bawdy Moon brothers. Stu gets romantic over the women's panties he hides under his mattress; Nicki graduates from petty thievery to chinchilla smuggling; Stanley, warped by mind-altering drugs, turns to political terrorism; and Harry, a manic-depressive swimming champ, becomes obsessed with traversing the English Channel while his marriage is crumbling. Their mother, Alice Viola, frets over her degenerate sons as she ditches her husband Winslow, who promptly falls apart. Sullivan wants us to accept Harry Moon as a cynical Everyman, an endearing, macho anti-hero, but he comes off as a male-chauvinist wimp. The deadpan humor is mostly adolescent, and the fatalistic links between the Moon brothers and their remote ancestorsfour rowdy siblings expelled from England in 1767are tenuous at best. Harry's slow coming of age gives Sullivan ample time for jabs at the Peace Corps, New England, taxes, sex and religion. (August)
Reviewed on: 08/05/1988
Release date: 08/01/1988
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