The Grey Avengers

Marvin Karlins, Author Gollehon Press $16.99 (250p) ISBN 978-0-914839-31-6
A veteran writer of both fiction ( Gomorrah ) and nonfiction ( Biofeedback ), Karlins takes a good idea--redressing crimes against the elderly--works up some satisfying action scenes and then sinks the whole thing in a bog of pretentious, hokey prose. When 60-ish widower Ben Adder is forced into early retirement by the big company he helped establish, he begins to notice how frequently older people are written off or abused. On learning that he has a cerebral aneurysm that may kill him within five years, he becomes a one-man avenger against particularly egregious abusers of the elderly. With the help of Joe Lukas, his superior officer during the Korean War, Ben reunites their unit's other surviving nine members into a vigilante group called the Green Banana Club (after a tedious joke--don't ask). The cutesy ending comes when Ben enlists an NYPD computer hacker as an ally and more green bananas sign on. Readers are exposed to earnest catalogues of the trials of the old, a couple of totalitarian itches for safe streets and details of embarrassing rituals bonding the members of the Green Banana Club. The plodding and occasionally execrable writing serves to remind us that good intent is not enough. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 08/02/1993
Release date: 08/01/1993
Genre: Fiction
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