Craig Nova, Author Grove/Atlantic $19.95 (247p) ISBN 978-0-8021-1359-7
Nova ( The Good Son ; Incandescence ) here taps the heat and energy of the bond between a son and his arsonist father . Ray Gollanz is not yet 20 when he first accompanies his father, Dean, on his outside job as an arsonist-for-hire. Intelligent and perceptive, Ray knows that his much-beloved dad father used twice already is a big talker and a ladies' man who signals the end of each affair by playing his trombone. The potentially destructive nature `join forces' below of Ray and Dean's attachment, captured first in Ray's memory of their watching the light of atom bomb tests when he was a little boy, is stirred when Dean and Iris Mason, Ray's high-school classmate in Bakersfield, Calif., become an item. After Dean is scared off by Iris's father, Ray and Iris join forces and together begin to test the limits of their tolerance for danger and self-revelation. Iris leaves home and Ray, opposing Dean, accepts a scholarship to college in the East. He comes back to Bakersfield when Dean's life begins to fall apart and, facing the risk of exposing his feelings, attempts both to find Iris and to sort through the demands of filial loyalty. Calling to mind Barry Gifford's Wild at Heart , this ambitious novel is hampered by its schematic plot and the sometimes portentous, often strangled dialogue of characters who cannot say what they feel. Yet the gritty settings and the vivid characterizations of Ray and Dean, combined with the compelling undercurrent of tension, create a powerful effect. (June)
Reviewed on: 06/01/1992
Release date: 06/01/1992
Genre: Fiction
Mass Market Paperbound - 978-0-8041-1157-7
Paperback - 247 pages - 978-0-8021-3913-9
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