Kevin Killian, Author Crossing Press $8.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-89594-348-4
Those who read past the disorienting first chapters of this gritty debut novel will be richly compensated by its intellectually stimulating and emotionally gripping prose. Killian produces a pantheon of distinctive characters--including himself as a young writer whose half-hearted work on a book about his murdered gay lover is stalled by his absorption in the dramas of others around him. The misfits, losers, adolescent rebels and rootless souls of Smithtown, Long Island (N.Y.), whose petty dreams and futile hopes the author sets forth with mercy, are the spiritual kin of Christopher Isherwood's creations in The Berlin Stories. Killian displays a facility for developing teenaged characters, such as Harry Van who, at 15 or 16, is continually aware that his golden youth is temporary; and Paula, a romantic who finds enlightenment in the music of David Bowie. His work is also noteworthy for unlikely phrasings (``Her face lit up like a jack-o-lantern, from inside, with the incredible light and heat of love''). (June)
Reviewed on: 04/01/1989
Release date: 04/01/1989
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