Make-Believe Ballrooms

Peter J. Smith, Author Atlantic Monthly Press $18.95 (292p) ISBN 978-0-87113-318-2
Hal Andrews, the pseudo-bohemian narrator of this trendy novel about growing up absurd, is a ``construction artist'' trying to make it in New York, a self-styled ``undiscovered genius'' waiting to come into his trust fund. His older brother, Beck, 30, is about to marry spoiled Lisa Lyman, heiress to a towel-business fortune, much to the chagrin of Hal and his sister Fishie, an Olympic swimmer. Fishie offers Beck thousands of dollars if he'll break up with Lisa. Fishie shaves her head, and in retaliation Beck shaves his pubes. A wrong phone number introduces Hal to Mary-Ann Beavers, brazen, would-be model from Patent, Tex.; she and her brother Frank, who has ``teeth . . . eligible for federal aid,'' set up house in Hal's apartment. Hal and Mary-Ann take off for Elvis Presley's shrine, Graceland, then for Patent, where Hal decides to resettle in a large city because they're ``the best places to meet people, especially girls.'' While some readers may mistake such goings-on for humor, Smith's ( Highlights of the Off-Season ) uncompelling story merely features characters who act 10 years younger than their stated ages. (May)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1989
Release date: 01/01/1989
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