The Strange Adventures of Rangergirl

Tim Pratt, Author . Bantam $12 (402p) ISBN 978-0-553-38338-6

Pratt (Little Gods ), praised for his short fiction, stumbles in his first novel. Marzipan "Marzi" McCarty, a 20ish California art school dropout, writes quirky comics. Marzi's also the night manager–barista of Genius Loci, a Santa Cruz coffeehouse decorated by vanished muralist Garamond Ray to hold in elemental Evil. The wild adventures that Marzi concocts for her cowpunk character, Rangergirl, start coming true after her artsy friends become obsessed with freeing weird gods. When the Outlaw, a representative of everyone's worst fears, busts loose from its surreal corral, the Desert Lands, it's up to Marzi, the new artist-guardian, to save the whole shootin' match from disaster. Pratt's simplistic message, glimpsed sporadically behind clouds of neo-hippie jargon, self-consciously naughty language, outdoor sex and nasty violence, is pretentious and even a little naïve—that art can trap our fears and hold them at bay. Like too much marzipan, it all turns cloying mighty fast, pardners. (Dec.)

Reviewed on: 10/10/2005
Release date: 11/01/2005
Genre: Fiction
Open Ebook - 252 pages - 978-0-553-90215-0
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