The Blue Streak

Ellen Lesser, Author Grove/Atlantic $19.95 (242p) ISBN 978-0-8021-1440-2
``Failure is like a game you've been playing, to get back at Sam,'' a cousin tells underachiever Danny Winger, the 20-something protagonist of this disappointing novel. But suddenly the game is over. Sam, Danny's super-successful and tyrannical father, dies unexpectedly and his son, a washed-up swimming champion (whose string of high school victories gives the book its title), struggles to come to terms with Sam's memory. Set in New York's Brooklyn and Long Island, the novel spans the days between Sam's death and his burial, with Danny recalling scenes from their tempestuous relationship. Lesser ( The Other Woman ) is a dexterous and sensitive writer. Unfortunately, her latest effort is essentially a long short story straining to be a novel. The extended Winger clan, a Jewish family of colorful eccentrics and a memorable long-suffering mother, huffs and puffs to blow some drama into this overly internal tale. But even the brief disappearance of Sam's corpse fails to inject much tension. (June)
Reviewed on: 06/01/1992
Release date: 06/01/1992
Genre: Fiction
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