The Zombie Pit

Sam Dallesandro, Author Crossing Press $6.95 (124p) ISBN 978-0-89594-350-7
The 11 stories in this first and posthumous collection adopt a detached style to explore intimate aspects of gay life in the '80s. The title piece, named for a dive frequented by the characters, is a dense account of love gone awry, in which an emotionally disconnected man recalls a former partner and compares him with his present boyfriend. The protagonist of ``Giovanni's Apartment'' hibernates in his lover's apartment for over a month, in his isolation perceiving the world ``like a membrane that you had to try and walk through.'' In many of the other works, the always-nameless narrators similarly mull over their relationships--in generally empty rhetoric: ``When I was with him I did a lot of sliding through the environments I found myself in: slipping through the air, exploring without paying much attention to the subject.'' D'Allesandro (1956-1988) is most picturesque when describing encounters in seedy bars or uniquely furnished apartments, but too often his writing reads more like fragments from a diary than fiction. (June)
Reviewed on: 04/01/1989
Release date: 04/01/1989
Genre: Fiction
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