Lindbergh's Son

John Vernon, Author Viking Books $17.95 (279p) ISBN 978-0-670-81553-1
The great opening spoof of this unsolved mysterythat the narrator, Charles Cooper (possibly Lyndhurst), is merely a disembodied brain marinating in a jaris a bizarre detail that the reader disregards as events unfold. Coop, as he is called by his present intimates, is tossing a ball around with his flaky stepson when two fat, distorted women approach, claiming relationship. He later recognizes the younger as Bernice, the once beautiful girl living in the apartment that became his home from the time he was 14 until he was sent to boarding school in disgrace. Disgrace, because he impregnated Bernice, and Uncle Chuck, the household's absentee landlord, kicked him out and decreed an abortion. But the abortion was itself abortive, for shortly after Coop again takes to Bernice's bed, the aborted fetus turns up in the person of 40-year-old Charles Lyndhurst, Junior. Now Coop, his memory prodded by Bernice and Junior, begins to question the identity of Uncle Chuck (Lyndhurst? or Lindbergh?), whose kidnapped son's birthday (if he's Lindbergh) coincides with Coop's own. Is he the baby whose body was never recovered? Is he Bernice's brother and therefore the new-found Junior's uncle as well as his father? The already thick plot here becomes positively viscous; but intrigued readers will seek a way through the incestuous, circumstantial maze that makes this novel a remarkable tour de force. (October)
Reviewed on: 11/02/1987
Release date: 11/01/1987
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