The Right Bitch

Anna Shapiro, Author Grove/Atlantic $18.95 (205p) ISBN 978-0-8021-1447-1
Is this a man's stream-of-consciousness diary, or is it a novel by the man's girlfriend, or did she pilfer his journal and sell it as her own work of fiction? This debut novel plays a continuous rug-pulling game with the reader, who may grow too weary to care very much by the novel's end. Tony Schatz is a self-indulgent New York artiste who fills his diary with unfunny one-liners about life and himself and his hatred for his mother. (``Hey, look, I was the only fetus I know who had to send for take-out.'') But when casual encounters with his friend Celia Persky result in her pregnancy, his cool relationship with the world is headed for a series of apocalyptic changes. Unfortunately, despite this potentially interesting premise and some vivid writing, Shapiro has created irritating characters who spout self-conscious drivel. Even as it tries too hard, the narrative remains unfinished and superficial. The reader who stays with the story will be one jump ahead of Tony the whole way; by the time he is dazzled by revelations of Celia's duplicity, outrage will have been replaced by boredom. (June)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1992
Release date: 01/01/1992
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