Secondary Attachments

Greg Herriges, Author William Morrow & Company $15.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-688-06171-5
There is a lot to like about this somewhat unusual novel, beginning with its central character, Johnny Spector. A veteran of eight years of teaching in Chicago's inner city at the incongruously named Freddie Prinze High School, Spector is a renegade, disdained by the administrators. He is also distinguished as the author of a novel with a small cult following. Newly divorced, hassled by his principal, worried about the fate of his pupils as a major gang war looms on the horizon, Spector is thrown into further disarray when he falls for an extraordinary student. Eighteen-year-old Marlyn Valentin seems to have the brains and the will to escape the dead-end neighborhood. As Spector struggles to salvage his nearly burnt-out career, he and Marlyn engage in a torrid romance. Although its ending lacks the perfect turn the book needs, this is one of those rare contemporary novels brimming with humor, life and reality. (April 21)
Reviewed on: 04/01/1986
Release date: 04/01/1986
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