Prisoners of Paradise

Ronald Anthony Cross, Author Franklin Watts $0 (263p) ISBN 978-0-531-15083-2
This fantasy/fable is set in the Paradise Luxury Vacation Resort Hotel, a gigantic labyrinth with hundreds of floors, mechanical animals that talk, theme rooms (i.e., the Tropical Vacation Lagoon Room), savages running amok, a godlike Hotel Mind and the Hotel Mind's clever little opponent, the Adversary. Dashing through the halls at breakneck, almost supernatural speed is Nightglider, a heroic loner who finds himself facing such dangers as the ``blind crawlers,'' a murderous giant called Big Knife and members of a tribe led by a good-humored Polynesian chief. As the hotel takes on the metaphor of a biblical universe, Nightglider finds himself cast as a Jonah reluctantly summoned by the Adversary for a messianic charge. Much of the narrative consists of a series of disappointingly uninspired chases and confrontations that lack drama or verve. Nor do the religious themes pan out in particularly engaging theological statements. Still, Cross's dialogue is often distinguished by puckish wit. He's at his best when at his most absurd, imagining his technologically advanced hotel as the ground for a robotic waiter who recites selections in a French accent and a mechanical bird who spouts slogans for a mouthwash called Purene. (October)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1988
Release date: 01/01/1988
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