Trophy

Michael Griffith. Northwestern Univ., $24.95 (224p) ISBN 978-0-8101-5218-5
Lacking cohesion and focus, this off-putting but energetically told story chronicles the chaotic final thoughts of a dying man. From the first line, the writing is depressingly self-aware and manic; puns, metaphors, and tangents proliferate, their essence summed up by the chapter titles: "Smurf 'n' Turf," "Lacuna Beach," "Dorito Ergo Sum." As Vada Prickett lies dying on the floor pinned beneath his frenemy Wyatt's taxidermied grizzly bear, he flashes back to episodes throughout his 29 years. Griffith (Bibliophilia) manages to be occasionally touching and sometimes funny in this disjointed tale about a likable loser who stalls when he is orphaned at 20 and falls tragically in love with Wyatt's fiancée. There are intermittent bright points—most notably in the sympathy Vada engenders late in the book and the corresponding dislike for Wyatt—but they amount to too little too late beneath the crushing wave of shaggy, logorrheic text. (May)
Reviewed on: 03/21/2011
Release date: 00/00/0000
Genre: Fiction
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