Keno Runner: A Romance

David Kranes, Author University of Utah Press $0 (276p) ISBN 978-0-87480-320-4
Benhamin Kohlman, the New York writer-protagonist of this tour de force, sets out to salvage a career so far all promise and no achievement by writing the as-told-to, ``true'' story of Janice Stewart, accused of murdering her father-in-law and burning his house. Armed with tape recorder and word processor, Kohlman tracks Janice to Las Vegas, where she's employed by a casino as the ``keno runner'' of the title. There he finds himself emmeshed in a surreal world inhabited by such denizens as a black boxer who performs miraculous physical feats by exercising a kind of self-hypnosis, a child promoter whose main product is his sister, who performs classical music, and a centerfold blonde who's described as both a monumental embodiment of male fantasy. In time, this other world comes to seem more real than his old workaday one, liberating Kohlman from enervating intellectualism. With the message that you need to let loose in order to become committed, and its celebration of action and faith as opposed to rationality, this book has a decidedly 1960s' flavor, although any philosophizing it delivers seems more send-up than serious. Kranes writes with verve, and he's consistently entertaining. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1989
Release date: 01/01/1989
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