Utah

Toby Olson, Author Simon & Schuster $17.45 (0p) ISBN 978-0-671-63814-6
The publication of his fourth novel (after The Woman Who Escaped From Shame leaves no doubt that Olson is a talented writer, but this narrative has equal power to enchant and to annoy readers. A tale that depends upon the central device of all the characters coincidentally coming together in Utah, it survives its awkward plotting because of the author's ability to create scenes of heightened reality and powerful, surrealistic effect. The narrator, David, is a physiotherapist whose wife has left him and whose close male friend (who was a homosexual but not David's lover) has died. Determined to retrace the roots of his past in an effort to revive his ability to establish a caring relationship, despite the advice of a gay Catholic bishop who warns him against stirring up old memories, David contacts people from his past, all of whom eventually turn up in a strange artist's colony in the Utah desert, where a bizarre scene of madness and revenge clears the way for David's inner peace. Olson's facility with striking scenessometimes menacing, sometimes tranquil, sometimes outlandish and melodramaticlifts him out of the common run of writers. With its strongly erotic overtones, this book makes a memorable impact. (June 3)
Reviewed on: 06/01/1987
Release date: 06/01/1987
Paperback - 350 pages - 978-1-892295-35-4
Hardcover - 282 pages - 978-0-02-098410-8
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