Cosmetic Effects

Clive Sinclair, Author Viking Books $18.95 (256p) ISBN 978-0-670-83341-2
By turns lyrical, raunchy, philosophical and wickedly cynical, Sinclair's novel about an English lecturer on cinema who unwittingly gets mixed up with a PLO-like group en route to the Jerusalem Film Festival is a disturbing meditation on terrorism, adultery, sex and the moral costs of Israel's continued occupation of the annexed territories. Jonah Isaacson loses his left arm when his mistress, Stella--who unbeknownst to him abets a Palestinian terrorist faction called Sons of Ishmael--wires him like a human time-bomb. The explosion also induces partial amnesia, obliterating memories that might make Jonah aware that his prosthetist, Dr. Said Habash, is a terrorist. Jonah is alert enough, however, to figure out that his pregnant wife, Sophie, a travel agent, bedded a lecherous German, Professor Gutkes, who is probably the unborn child's father. In movie-buff Jonah, Sinclair ( Blood Libels ) has created an outrageous narrator/hero who hurls sporadic flashes of illumination across the dark cloud of Middle East politics. (June)
Reviewed on: 06/05/1990
Release date: 06/01/1990
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