Never Mind NIRVana

Mark Lindquist, Author Villard Books $21.95 (256p) ISBN 978-0-679-46302-3
A former star of Seattle's legendary grunge scene is forced to grapple with his past in this poorly imagined novel about youth passing into angst-ridden middle age by the author of Carnival Desires. Like the author, Pete Tyler is a deputy prosecutor of sex crimes. In his late 30s, he has a comfortable albeit empty life in Seattle that revolves around getting drunk and flirting with grunge's female disciples. But he is forced to confront his past directly when he becomes the prosecuting attorney in a date-rape case in which the defendant is a fellow musician from the days when Pete was also in an underground band. Now in a suit and tie, Pete is forced to reexamine what he was and has become. After excessive drinking and meaningless sexual encounters, Pete concludes he will marry to avoid vacuity, though he doesn't know when or to whom. His affluent sister and mother approve, but his attempts to act like a committed adult all end in disappointment. Hitting bottom when his romantic interest, Esm , abandons him for the safety of law school, Pete abandons himself to a dissolute life. The reader is exposed to wearying lists of bands and ex-girlfriends and detailed directions to clubs and bars as Pete indulges in memories of being a young musician living with a punk girl named Beth. After the rape case closes, Pete is still alone and hung over, confident that beyond happiness lies ""emptiness and pain and regret."" With chapters as short as one page, this is a fast-paced study of puer aeternis overflowing with relatively obscure references to pop culture. But for those who were or are part of the scene Lindquist chronicles, the colorful legal battle and the hordes of monosyllabic hipsters who swarm through this world-weary paean to Seattle may indeed resonate. (May)
Reviewed on: 05/01/2000
Release date: 05/01/2000
Genre: Fiction
Paperback - 239 pages - 978-0-375-75755-6
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