The Divine Comedy of Ariadne & Jupiter: The Amazing &: Spectacular Adventures of Ariadne & Her Dog Jupite

Shere Hite, Author Peter Owen Publishers $29.95 (208p) ISBN 978-0-7206-0917-2
Well known for her nonfiction books on human sexuality, Hite has written a sophomoric first novel, a fantasy in which she is thinly disguised as a semidivine figure, Ariadne. Bored with heaven, Ariadne travels to Earth with her dog Jupiter, where she is appalled by poverty, oppression of women, environmental destruction and the slaughter of animals. What might have been a trenchant sociopolitical satire becomes a colossal ego trip as feminist author Ariadne Rite (read Shere Hite) settles scores with TV hosts and newspaper critics whom she feels have misrepresented and abused her. Back in Heaven, Ariadne seeks guidance from the shades of Simone de Beauvoir and Harry Truman; goes yachting with Cleopatra; debates with Marx, Lenin, Tocqueville and Jefferson; and meets Marilyn Monroe, George Orwell and Hannah Arendt. Intermittently this is wicked fun, but characters emerge like pop-ups in a child's storybook and ideas are bandied about like placards. Shuttling to Earth, Ariadne makes rhapsodic love to Friedrich, a dashing pianist. Finally, with help from Isis and other deities, Rite/Hite sets forth an ecofeminist program for Earth's renewal, featuring redistribution of wealth and public scrutiny of multinational corporations that control the mass media and pollute the planet. (May)
Reviewed on: 05/02/1994
Release date: 05/01/1994
Genre: Fiction
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