After NIRVana

Lee Williams, Author William Morrow & Company $20 (208p) ISBN 978-0-688-15215-4
Set amidst the demimonde of teenage street hustlers in the Pacific Northwest, this promising debut follows waifs Davy and Nikki through a summer of drifting. Davy supports their trek by turning tricks in bathrooms (eventually Nikki turns to the oldest profession herself). The couple meet up with hustlers Branch and James and move into the Portland squat of wannabe Deadhead Jody. There, as narrator Davy develops a crush on James, Williams attempts to compensate for the book's lack of narrative momentum by abruptly and awkwardly transforming Branch into a menacing psychopath. Meanwhile, the flatness of Davy's narrative manages to dull even the incessant sex scenes. Williams does have a feel for these teenagers, the way they talk and live, but he fails to provide anything more than a slice of life: nothing ever appears to be at stake for anyone here. Rather then appearing rebellious, the characters' lack of reflection and morality only serves to make them vapid. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 09/29/1997
Release date: 10/01/1997
Genre: Fiction
Paperback - 240 pages - 978-0-688-16641-0
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