The Current Climate

Bruce J. Friedman, Author Grove/Atlantic $8.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-87113-276-5
The titular subject of Friedman's 1972 About Harry Towns returns, older (57) but hardly wiser; in fact, Harry's honest bemusement at the workings of a world he no longer recognizes provides this uneven novel with its ripest comic moments. Despite a patient second wife and a new daughter, Harry finds that old habits die hard, especially when they include venturesome debauches with hookers and hoods in New York City. In Hollywood, Harry pitches screenplay ideas to studio executives whose healthy lifestyles and herculean work habits aren't part of the show biz world that he remembers. Even Harry's psychiatrist of 27 years seems suddenly out of joint, given to fainting spells and trips to the hairdresser. Though funny scene by scene, Friedman's portrait of Harry grows more scattershot and erratic as the novel progresses, detouring into the '50s for a witty depiction of a creative writing class, then returning to the present for a hasty resolution. Friedman's considerable gifts as a comic writer (he also wrote The Lonely Guy's Book of Life ) are never fully manifested here. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 09/01/1989
Release date: 09/01/1989
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