Vanna Karenina

Frank Gannon, Author Viking Books $15.95 (160p) ISBN 978-0-670-82080-1
Many of these 21 slim satirical send-ups by the author of Yo, Poe are amusing but not laugh-aloud funny. This is particularly true of his parodies of Joyce Carol Oates (on boxing), Jackie Collins, Jay McInerney and minimalist fiction. There are clever hybrids, like the title piece in which the feathery thoughts of Wheel of Fortune TV hostess Vanna White are refracted through Tolstoy, and ``Flowers of Evil,'' a mock newspaper column of gardening advice written as if Charles Baudelaire were dispensing it. Gannon draws blood in his lampoon of white Europeans' memoirs of their African childhoods. Other subjects that cry out for deflatingDonald Trump, yuppies, the media hype of Oliver Northare more tamely handled. Gannon satirizes Americans' fondness for instant horoscopes, videos, the power of positive thinking (combined with a me-first attitude). In more relaxed moments he scrutinizes human quirks such as the natural aversion to bugs and Southerners' obsession with ducks. (October)
Reviewed on: 10/01/1988
Release date: 10/01/1988
Paperback - 152 pages - 978-0-14-010728-9
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