A Genuine Monster

David Zielinski, Author Atlantic Monthly Press $17.95 (236p) ISBN 978-0-87113-294-9
Nick Ames, narrator of this promising debut novel, is a disturbed Vietnam veteran clinging to reality in San Diego. In his free-floating memories, several planes of existence fitfully interpenetrate: his boyhood molded by a moody, beer-swilling father; his stint as a minor-league baseball player; sexual fantasies involving nympho waitress LaWanda Hernandez, at whom he beams thought waves; flashbacks of battles and bootcamp, of Saigon girlfriend Miki who seems to have been his closest human contact. Ames's landlady, who's in a UFO cult, begs him to join a vigil waiting for the aliens. His best friend Argo is a drunk who writes pulp spy thrillers. In a fragmentary style that reflects the protagonist's confused mental state, this jagged lyric tale charts the course of Ames's last day, setting his failure to connect against the trash heap of popular culture. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1990
Release date: 01/01/1990
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